Finding a parking spot at a hospital can be stressful for drivers anxious to enter the facility quickly, either to seek medical attention or to visit loved ones. Administrators at theRonald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, a new hospital on the UCLA campus, hope a network of sensors used to monitor traffic in its garage will make parking faster and easier for visitors and staff members. In the long run, the data collected could also provide insights enabling the hospital to optimize the number of parking spaces allocated for workers and guests, according to David Karwaski, manager of planning and policy at UCLA’s Department of Transportation.
The monitoring system comprises infrared Wireless Sensor Network Modules from National Instruments (NI), mounted at the parking garage’s entrances and exits each time a car drives by. These events are collected in NI’s LabVIEW software application. The data is analyzed to determine the number of available parking spots on the monitored floors, based on the total number of spaces on that floor, as well as on the number of cars each sensor detects entering or exiting.
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