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European Space Agency now offers satellite-driven car parking services

The European Space Agency is now offering satellite-driven car parking services as a result of a partnership with a startup company called Parkbob.

Parkbob teamed up with ESA Business Applications to develop an architecture for satellite-driven availability parking services in smart cities.

Their collaboration through an ESA Kickstart activity as part of the Integrated Applications program, will demonstrate the added value that satellite brings in the context of advanced digital last-mile solutions. 

As a first step, Parkbob will access the Earth Observation satellite images from Copernicus and use them to obtain historical snapshots of on­street parking occupancy and availability in a city.

Such a large amount of data describing parking behavior in cities will be further used to train and validate advanced stochastic models that will help drivers to get information on the available parking slot.

parkbob satellite image

Parkbob and ESA say the service will be highly beneficial for the drivers, saving money, time and nerves. Furthermore, it will reduce negative environmental impacts.

The Austrian startup already has deep technological expertise due to its extensive work with satellite images from various sources. The close partnership with ESA will add a range of new opportunities and ideas for Parkbob to be discovered and tested.

Particularly, Parkbob will have the opportunity to further elaborate their business proposition and evaluate the business viability of a satellite-based approach.

The next step will be to design and create a technical architecture for sourcing and processing satellite-images with artificial intelligence.

Based on this framework, Parkbob will be able to deploy a number of services and solutions for several use cases. This is part of the Parkbob DNA to be at the forefront of innovation and to use every technology available to offer the best service possible for our customers.

Parkbob founder and CEO Christian Adelsberger emphasizes how important the cooperation with ESA is for the company: “This cooperation is a major milestone for developing advanced digital last-mile solutions for mobility and a great showcase how public-private partnerships can aid implementation of new technologies in the market.

“We are looking forward to intensifying our cooperation with ESA in the future.“

Roberta Mugellesi, business applications manager at European Space Agency, says: “Business Applications has many resources that could be beneficial to companies. We want to harness the huge and largely untapped potential of small companies’ innovation capabilities, which is why we are intensifying our effort to collaborate with private companies wanting to develop new solutions and services based on space assets.

“The project proposed by Parkbob was selected for co-funding as part of the ESA Kickstart call ‘People Mobility’, providing a convincing example of promising ideas to support smart mobility in cities.”

Through the ESA/Parkbob partnership, the Satellite Earth Observation data enable potential solutions for public applications, such as traffic management and city planning.

The applications are not just limited to public but can also be beneficial to mobility providers, logistics companies and others.

Efficiencies can be gained in fleet management, last mile issues such as drop-off / pick-up and deliveries in general.

Moreover, Parkbob wants to demonstrate how much can be gained from the collaboration between public institutions and private companies.