Three taxi stands in the Sant Martí district have been selected according to the requirements of the Taxi Institute and the network coverage to ensure unbroken communication with the sensors. In addition, two different typologies of taxi stands are represented in the selected taxi parking lots: parallel parking and angled/perpendicular parking, enabling different types of taxi stands to be monitored show that all are secure and reliable.
The solution consists of the monitoring of the three taxi stands in order to provide valuable information to both taxi drivers and users of their services. In order to remotely visualize the availability of taxis, different technical solutions have been analyzed. The main solution considered consists of the deployment along the taxi stands of sensors that monitor the occupancy of the parking slots. These sensors are embedded in the road pavement and use wireless LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) technology to send data to the GrowSmarter platform. in particular the SIGFOX solution, which has been designed for the Internet of Things connectivity and absolutely fits the technical theoretical requirements of this measure: low power consumption, coverage range and minimization of interference. Due to the technical features of this technology, the battery of the sensors is expected to last for years.
Having performed this analysis, 29 sensors were installed.Theoretically, the best option would be to install a sensor at each parking slot.However, when the taxi stand is a parallel type, in which taxis move forward on a “first in first out” basis, a more complex strategy is required. The angled/perpendicular parking would entail placing one sensor every two meters and processing this data with algorithms to define the occupancy level of the stand.
Parking data will be collected and managed by the GrowSmarter platform, and applications will use standard application programming interfaces (APIs) to access and display the information hosted by the platform.The Smart Taxi Pilot will provide an application which will be linked to the official app of the Taxi Institute of the metropolitan area of Barcelona for both types of end-users taxi drivers and taxi users (citizens, tourists, etc.)
Through the installation of parking sensors in the taxi stands and their connection to the GrowSmarter data platform it will be possible to develop an app which shows the availability of taxis in real time.The app will provide information on the number of taxis available at each stand as well as the rotation of taxis per time unit and waiting time. This information will be accessible to anyone with a smartphone, including taxi drivers and passengers.This will enable taxi drivers to head to empty stands, or to drive to those with the highest demand.The information provided by this pilot will will allow an evaluation of whether a full implementation in the city is feasible.From the client point of view, the information displayed will point them towards the stands with the highest number of taxis and increase the possibility of taking one.