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Greek Island of Paros to Implement Digital Parking System

Paros Greek Island, Cyclades, Greece
The Greek island of Paros will be the first in Europe to implement a Digital Parking Sensor System, branding it Europe’s First smart island. Credit: Flickr / gichristof CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Greek island of Paros, world-renowned for its idyllic scenery and a popular tourist destination, is subject to one major problem every summer—lack of parking availability. In the summer months, tourists swarm the island and since they either rent or bring their cars, coordination issues are created.

The scenic island itself is home to only about fourteen thousand year-round residents, and every summer over five hundred thousand tourists arrive and tour the island. The situation is worsened by the limited monitoring capacity, with drivers often exceeding the one-hour parking limit, leading to dissatisfaction among locals and a loss in municipality revenues.

To address this issue, the leadership of Paros implemented a new solution that makes use of Actility’s Internet of Things (IoT) technology. In collaboration with Cicicom Ltd., this initiative entails the deployment of a Long-Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN)-based network of parking sensors and data management software.

These technologies are intended to improve parking space utilization efficiency and the overall parking experience on the island. Paros will become the first location to partake in this project, causing tech companies to call it Europe’s first smart island.


Who is Cicicom and what do they produce?

Cicicom, a software solutions company based in Athens, has created IoT-based mobile apps and monitoring platforms, as well as hardware such as wireless sensors. These sensors are used for more than just parking management. They also have applications in areas such as smart water metering. Cicicom’s solution entails equipping each of the one hundred and fifty parking spaces near Parikia’s port with S-LG-13 devices.

How will this work?

These devices utilize three sensors to confirm the presence of a vehicle and monitor activity in space: a magnetic sensor, motion detector, and nano radar. The sensors use a LoRa radio to transmit data back to Actility’s ThingPark Enterprise platform, allowing city parking authorities to monitor parking lots in real time.

The system includes two mobile apps meant to support both drivers and police officers. The citizen app uses sensor data to help drivers find the nearest available parking space. It provides GPS-guided navigation and also facilitates both parking payment and time renewal.

The police app is designed for officers in charge of parking on Paros, notifying them of any violations such as overstaying or unauthorized parking and directing them to the appropriate location.

The Cicicom sensor’s Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) functionality, which detects BLE beacon tags in cars, is an innovative feature. These tags are especially useful for identifying vehicles with special parking privileges, such as those reserved for disabled drivers. When a car without the proper tag occupies a restricted space, the system alerts the police via the app.

Deployment of digital parking system on Paros

The first phase of the system rollout in Paros is the deployment of this parking solution, which begins with a hundred and fifty paid parking spaces strategically located near the port and busy downtown areas. The advantages of this technology are expected to be significant.

The technology aims to increase revenue by ensuring parking payment compliance, decreased labor hours for municipal police, and improved response efficiency to violations. As a result, parking will be easier for both tourists and residents, creating a win-win situation for both the community and drivers.

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