The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Smart driving proposed to help parking situation on campus

As part of CSUN’s College of Engineering and Computer Science research seminar series, the department presented a lecture on smart parking to help reduce long student traffic lines on campus.

Dr. Adam Kaplan, computer science professor, introduced the pilot project to colleagues in the Jacaranda building on Tuesday and explained the project will have sensors communicating with a mobile app to alert students on limited parking spaces.

“We want to help students find parking spots without having to waste time in parking lots that are already full,” he said.

Kaplan collaborated with engineer and computer science students Max Aram and Norvan Gorgi, who proposed the idea to the university administration.

Aram, one of the student developers of the project, said during the lecture the idea came to his mind when he was stuck in the long line of cars last year. He explained how the new pilot idea will work once it’s greenlighted.

“CSUN Smart Parking is a system that will provide the status of different parking structures to the students before they enter the campus area and the data will be real-time, which means it will be updated few times a minute,” he said. “We are planning to install some magnetic sensors around different parking structures to count the incoming and outgoing cars in order to calculate the number of available parking spots in each structure.”

Aram further explained in the lecture  that the data will be retrieved by the Smartphone apps that will be developed for the students. He said for students’ safety, the app will provide a voice command feature in the system, in which it will talk back to the user to minimize interaction with the smartphone.

Kaplan said students have limited access routes on campus, which is very time consuming for students to circle around each level of the structures. The app will alert students to take certain main streets to get closer to the structure with the highest parking spots.

According to Kaplan and Aram, the project has been approved and funded by President Dianne Harrison and the university.

“In October we received the letter of acceptance from President Harrison. We are in the final stages of signing the WPA, and if signed, the team will kick off the pilot program immediately,” said Aram.

Antoinette Vawter, a senior English major, said she is thrilled about the new prospect of an improved driving system on campus.

“Even though I live only a few blocks away, I come a half hour early to make sure I can get a parking space and avoid long lines,” she said. “I hope it will come soon because this will help alleviate the frustrations that many students have with CSUN parking.”

Kaplan said their goal is to finish the pilot program before summer 2013.

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