2015 Computer Science and Engineering Winners

Computer Science and Engineering

1st Prize – Team 14: Parkshark Mobile App

Sponsored by- Team Members

Sponsor Advisors –Same as team members

Team: Cameron Panagrosso, Steven Gerhard, Steven Grasso, Justin Timmons

Faculty Advisor – Dr. Steven A. Demurjian

The ParkShark system was developed in order to address the issue of commuter parking on the University of Connecticut’s Storrs Campus. Commuters travel between 1-3 parking lots per day, sometimes several times per day; during peak hours this creates unnecessary extra traffic on the already crowded roads, and can cause the commuter to be late to class if there are few remaining spaces. ParkShark is an application system which is intended to shorten the time that users spend trying to find a parking space. The main purpose of the system is to provide a convenient service to UConn’s Commuters – reducing the time it takes to get to where the user needs to go and reducing traffic generated by vehicles searching for parking spaces.

The ParkShark system is comprised of several main components which allow it to operate: a network of small sensors, a database to store pertinent information, and user interfaces on multiple platforms. Each sensor is contained within a weather-proof enclosure in order to survive tough winter conditions and abuse. Additionally, the sensor is built to be low-powered and to recharge itself via solar power – thus minimizing the replacement frequency and maintenance cost. The sensor registers vehicles entering or exiting the lot through the use of a magnetometer; once a vehicle is registered, a message containing lot data and the number of cars involved is sent to the server for processing. The server will update the database accordingly, which is then used to convey information to the user appropriately.

The user interfaces are available on the Android and iOS mobile platforms, as well as a web application for administrative use. Through the use of the mobile apps, a user may visualize the current status of each parking lot, and be routed to the nearest convenient parking lot to the location that they are attempting to reach. The administrative application gives the user the ability to manage parking lot data and user data, including but not limited to: parking lots available on campus, parking lot capacities, permitted parking permits for each parking lot, lot closures, and permitted administrative users