Fully automated systems are being adopted in industries across the world at a rapid rate. Control systems are replacing manual operators and fully automated machines are replacing human labor. Less personnel and smarter machines means less operating and labor costs while increasing the quality of the products or services offered. This study will increase the quality of service of parking lots by integrating a smart system which assists motorists in finding vacant parking slots. It has a parking Guidance and Information system concept which will efficiently assist motorists and ensure the safety of the vehicles and the valuables inside the vehicle. In this parking system, a database lists the plate numbers of users and records the duration of their use of the parking lot. An Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system is also implemented to recognize the plate numbers of the users as they enter the parking lot
parking lot availability as shown in Figure 3. One display shows the total number of unoccupied
parking slots in the car park prototype. The other shows the parking slot that is assigned to the
motorist immediately at the front gate of the car park. This is to help motorists avoid wasting time in
locating an available parking slot. To complement these displays, there will be two sets of LEDs
designated for parking slot availability in the car park. When there is at least one parking lot that is
available, the first set of LEDs will be lit. When all the parking lots have been occupied, LEDs designated for the car park being full will be lit. These LEDs are viewable outside of the car park
prototype to inform motorists of parking lot availability.
Sensors underneath each lot as shown in Figure 4 determine if the lot is available or not. If the
sensor for that particular parking lot is activated, it implies parking is done in that lot. This lot is then
taken off the list of recommended parking lots which is displayed at the seven-segment display above
Two stepper motors serve to control the entrance and exit gates. The operation of each stepper motor is controlled by separate PIC16F84A microcontrollers. The entrance microcontroller is in turn be activated by the main microcontroller and the exit microcontroller will be controlled by the payment system microcontroller. Once the LDR sensors at the gates are activated, the main microcontroller or the payment system microcontroller will send a signal to the gate microcontrollers to open or close the appropriate gate. An LCD will also be placed at the front of the car park prototype that displays the time and name of the car park prototype.
The parking charges are incremented by 5 at a fixed rate. The total charge incurred during the customer for his parking duration will be displayed on a dual seven-segment display. When the customer drops coins into the coin slot, the corresponding value of the coin will be deducted from the charge displayed in the dual seven-segment display. The microcontroller then sends a signal to the exit gate microcontroller signaling it to open. The stepper motor will then control the gate to open. An LDR sensor at the front of the exit gate will determine when the gate should be closed. When the LDR sensor is triggered by the exiting vehicle, the gate is then brought down. At the same time when the customer is able to pay his charges in full, the microcontroller is brought back to its deactivated state until another vehicle exits the car park.
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When the ASPS system detects an incoming car, a front view snapshot of the car will be taken. This image is sent to the main program to be processed by the image processing system. For ease of use, the system has been created in MATLAB as a function named processplate.m. The Main Program will call for the function to process the webcam image. After processing the image, the output which is the plate number will then be available in string format. The string will be used for identification of individual cars and will be easily usable for the GUI of the Main Program.