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Drexel Engineering Students Create The EZPass of Parking for Major Cities – Hot Spot Parking

June 25, 2013

Hot Spot Parking TeamThe time spent looking for parking is the way of the past. Drexel engineering graduates Dakota Davis, Jonathan Davis, Diego Pinate and Niteesh Prasad have created an autonomous on-street parking management system, the equivalent of an EZ Pass for on-street parking, that informs a driver of where parking spaces are available and how much the space will cost.

“We eliminate the frustration from parking,” said Jonathan Davis, chief executive officer of Hot Spot Parking. “The human element is removed from both the driver and city aspect and we can offset CO2, save time and money for everyone involved.”

The Hot Spot team created a system that will read from a transponder located on the windshield of the car to a commercial grade system that will be planted on city streets within the sidewalk to ensure there is zero obstruction. Customers will place the transponder in their cars similar to an EZ Pass; the transponder is connected to the driver’s credit card, which is automatically charged the appropriate parking costs when the driver returns to his or her vehicle. The commercial grade system will sense the vehicle and will transmit data and time to the Hot Spot servers.

While Philadelphia was the ideal location to start the project, Davis and his colleagues are working to implement their system in cities across the country which he said were too soon to be named in addition to the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA).

“We’re the only company with all aspects,” said Davis. “We’re working with a city council in another area to bring the real-world prototype to life since the PPA is contracted until 2035.”

Davis had the idea to create the system more than a year ago. The idea stemmed from his cooperative education experience at the Philadelphia International Airport where he experienced seeing people struggle with faulty kiosks and the poor parking availability. Davis recruited his engineering colleagues to work on the project with him as their senior design project; a project all engineering seniors are required to fulfill before graduating.

The team worked in Davis’ apartment on the prototype with the support of their senior design advisor; Dr. Tim Kurzweg, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, assistant department head for undergraduate affairs and director of the bachelor’s of science in engineering program. The team had built a proof-of-concept prototype by February and the real-world prototype has been completed. Davis is currently in the process of raising a seed round of capital.

“It’s the future of the parking industry,” said Davis.

For more information, visit the Hot Spot parking website, their Facebook page or their Youtube prototype video. To view the Drexel Now coverage of Hot Spot parking, please click here.