The Future Looks Bright for the Parking Industry

By Eric Borromeo

Ctrl-Z Team 5831 is a FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics team from Bayview Glen School in Toronto.  FLL is a STEM programme with over 38,000 teams from 100 countries competing across three aspects:  innovative solution, autonomous robot and core values.

For the 2019-2020 FLL season, teams were challenged to identify a problem related to buildings or public places in the community and create an innovative solution for such problem.  Prior years’ themes have related to space travel, waste management, climate change, food safety and other pertinent topics.

Ctrl-Z’s Project

The problem we are addressing is accessibility. People without accessible parking permits are using designated spots illegally and blocking access to those who require them. This prevents people with disabilities and many seniors from leaving their homes, leading to isolation and immobility. We need a way to ensure accessible parking is available to those who need it.

Ctrl‐Z’s Solution

Our solution, the SPOT SAVER, will ensure access to parking that will lead to greater levels of physical activity and interaction with others, resulting in improved mental health and longevity.

Prototype: The vehicle displaying the permits is the Lego component.


Preliminary Sketch of Prototype

How It Works

The SPOT SAVER consists of an optical character recognition system designed to ensure that special needs persons and seniors can have much needed access to accessible parking spaces in various community spaces across the city.

There are two main parts:  a camera located on the top of a pole in front of the accessible parking spot which detects the presence of an accessible parking permit on the dash of a parked car. If detected, a message saying, “Valid permit detected” with a green light will appear on a display screen below…

Continue reading →