Cameras Change The Face of Automated Parking.
In the nearly 50 years since Eastman Kodak first prototyped the earliest digital camera, the spread of digital sensors has been rampant. Look at the top of your screen above this text, and there’s likely a camera facing you. That camera, and others like it, can do a lot more than taking selfies or video-conferencing. Real business opportunities emerge when we begin combining the cameras we encounter every day with artificial intelligence (AI).
AI systems capable of accurately identifying objects in images were once the exclusive domain of research labs and Fortune 100 tech companies. But now, for parking asset owners and operators, AI-powered cameras can both streamline business operations and deliver better customer experiences. FlashVision is our machine vision platform that brings that technology within reach. It’s a breakthrough for smart parking facilities.
“FlashVision is a streamlined, expandable machine vision platform that brings AI to the world of parking lot management and automation.”
What Is Machine Vision?
Machine vision, and its relative computer vision, are the systems that enable AI to reliably identify objects in an image. A simplified way of understanding machine vision systems is to think about when you see a big octagonal red sign with four capitalized letters printed in the center. Your eyes send the visual data to your brain, and your brain interprets the data—it’s a stop sign.
In the realm of AI, teaching a computer to make this same interpretation is incredibly challenging. It requires enormous data sets, processing power, and training models to create an AI that can be trusted to accurately identify a stop sign in any weather from any angle. The effort of teaching a computer is what makes reliable machine vision systems cost-prohibitive for most companies. That is, until now.
What Is FlashVision?
FlashVision is a streamlined, expandable machine vision platform that brings AI to the world of parking lot management and automation. As part of a robust smart parking solution, it delivers deep benefits both to drivers and to parking facility owners. It is easily adopted into any facility and designed to provide frictionless parking access for drivers while simplifying revenue control and management for operators.
The first key feature FlashVision provides is license plate recognition (LPR). Our AI-driven LPR solution reliably recognizes and processes license plate information. A self-contained FlashVision camera can identify a license plate in under a second, in any lighting condition, and from almost any angle.
Adding LPR to your smart parking operation enables multiple use cases that make parking at your facility effortless for customers. Let’s look at how it works as part of a cutting-edge automated parking garage.
How Does Smart Parking Work?
For monthly customers arriving at your lot or garage, FlashVision captures their license plate information in less than a second. From there, it identifies the car or truck as a monthly parker, opens the entry gate, and accurately records the time the vehicle arrived. When driving out, the camera captures the license plate again, opens the exit gate, and notes that the customer has left the facility.
Similarly, for transient parkers, FlashVision determines that a vehicle is not in your database of monthly customers. In such a case, our cameras capture the license plate info, open the entry gate, and record the entry time. When the same vehicle leaves, the system matches the license plate and calculates the appropriate cost. The driver no longer needs a ticket or a keycode. FlashVision does everything for them.
Using FlashVision, we’re eliminating the need for ticket machines, keycards, and keypads—all things that break, get lost, and cost considerable money to maintain or replace.
How Is FlashVision Unique?
FlashVision is a self-contained camera solution, as well as a powerful Iot tool. The license plate reader, tracking software, and wireless hardware are all part of a single integrated unit that only needs a power source—no excessive cords required. The infamously troublesome loops and complicated installations are things of the past. Like all of FlashParking’s solutions, we’re taking advantage of the cloud.
Because our cameras are cloud-connected, they can remotely trigger your gates when they recognize a vehicle entering or exiting. Employees, managers, or owners can monitor the cameras from any location. Accurate car-counting is an issue for all parking facilities, which is why our single unit reliably records and reports entry and exit times to your billing systems. At any time, FlashVision can generate reports and business intelligence you can use for improving the efficiency of your parking operations.
FlashVision cameras are flexible enough to work in most environments. The cameras come equipped with integrated infrared lights, which allow them to capture images reliably even in difficult lighting conditions, like nighttime and poor weather. When it comes time for installation, they can be placed nearly anywhere with a view of your traffic lanes.
Most unique—and advantageous to parking managers and owners—is that FlashVision cameras have no maintenance or replacement costs. You read that right. If any part of a FlashVision system ever needs repair, upgrading, or replacing, you’re covered. It’s made possible through the FlashParking hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) model.
FlashVision Is Part of The FlashParking HaaS Model
An alternative purchasing model, HaaS eliminates the need for enormous capital expenditures, expensive maintenance that eliminates enormous capital expenditures, expensive maintenance contracts, and the worry of encountering unexpected costs. In the old, outdated routine, owners invested in legacy equipment and hoped the purchase paid for itself before it became obsolete. HaaS breaks that cycle by replacing the capital expenditure with a monthly contract. By partnering with us, we replace and upgrade your facility equipment when you need it, not when you can afford it.
You can opt to include FlashVision if purchasing our PARCS solution via Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS). This way, it will be included as part of your monthly agreement, and you don’t have to spend extra for installation, repair, or replacement.
FlashVision Is Future-Ready
The features and functions we provide through FlashVision cameras have a long roadmap ahead. LPR is just our first step. To deliver continued innovation, we’re working on adding recognition for popular alternative mobility solutions, like bicycles and scooters. We’re also exploring how FlashVision can take a larger role in the whole-garage parking-monitoring, enabling real-time insights into how your customers are using your facility. Those insights can later connect to mobile apps for drivers and potential customers, letting them know when a new space is empty, when an EV charging station is free, or when shared mobility solutions like eBikes are available at your location.
Utilizing the features of a connected, AI-powered camera, we’re continuing to streamline services for smart parking operations and automated parking garages that want the best technology, and the best experience for their customers.
Connect with us to learn more about how you can start using FlashVision now.
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