Pebble Launched By @SidewalkLabs

Russ Curry, Ministry of New Media

Parking in cities is a complex problem. Sometimes there’s not enough parking, which creates traffic congestion and vehicle pollution as drivers circle for a space at the curb, in a garage, or in a lot – and sometimes there’s a lot more parking than a place typically needs, which raises building costs and takes up space that might go toward housing, parks, or other valuable uses.

Parking operators, real estate developers, and city agencies do not have access to the information they need to manage their parking supply most effectively. Existing parking availability technology tends to be expensive, difficult to install, or even invasive. That’s why Sidewalk Labs has introduced Pebble: a low-cost, easy-install, privacy-preserving vehicle sensor designed to help manage parking in innovative and sustainable ways.

Pebble provides real-time data about parking space availability, with a dashboard to help analyze historical parking patterns. These insights can help communicate space availability to customers, reduce circling, and create shared parking zones that minimize the number of spaces built in the first place. Pebble’s low-infrastructure design also makes it easier to install and lower cost than existing street sensors on the market.

Pebble is already helping pilot customers manage tens of thousands of parking spaces and consider their future parking needs. If you’re a parking operator, developer, or city agency managing parking or curb spaces, reach out through our website to learn more.

The wireless Pebble system consists of two easy-install parts:

  • Individual Pebble sensors can be quickly placed on a surface using adhesive. Though just 2.8 inches in diameter, these sensors have two sensing capabilities, improving accuracy and reliability over existing street sensors on the market.
  • The solar-powered Pebble gateway uses the cellular network, so it can be strapped to a pole without running new wires or trenching through pavement, which most existing street sensing systems require.

Pebble is designed for low ongoing maintenance. Pebble sensors can operate for years on standard settings and have undergone rigorous real-world testing to ensure accuracy and reliability. The solar-powered gateway can operate indefinitely, even in cloudy conditions.

Once in place, Pebble sensors relay the presence (or absence) of a vehicle in real time. That’s all Pebble collects: whether or not a vehicle is there. The system uses no cameras or other ways to identify a person or vehicle. Consistent with Sidewalk’s approach to data minimisation, we are told that the was on need for such data to achieve the goal of vehicle detection.

You can read more about it here.

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