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I.

Executive Summary

At the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) in the University area
of Charlotte, North Carolina, students have trouble finding parking in most of the decks.
Sometimes, students enter the deck and are stuck for more than 20 minutes during peak lecture
hours, 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM without finding any parking spots. Many
students complain about how they get stuck in parking decks without knowing that every single
parking spot is full. This problem happens
on a consistent basis and affects almost any
student who wishes to park during popular
class hours at UNC Charlotte.

At UNC Charlotte, many students


were seen complaining about their troubles
finding parking spots in most of the parking
decks. Only faculty have access to the better
parking locations. The deans of the specific
colleges have parking spots reserved for
them. Unfortunately, students do not have
the same privileges as the faculty do at this
particular university. Therefore, we decided
to address this inconvenience by planning
and designing an application for the IOS and
Play Store markets since we wanted to
accommodate this application for people
who use iPhones, Samsung Galaxies, and
other Apple or Android devices.

According to Douglas Lape, the director of parking and transportation services at UNC
Charlotte, there were 12,054 student parking permits, 4,275 faculty/staff parking permits and
3,420 resident parking permits.

There are no current statistics to directly back this data up, but students do frequently
complain about being stuck in parking decks. Before collecting data, each student assessed the
parking decks of UNC-Charlotte in order to gain a better perspective of the parking situation
before making any legitimate data analyses. In order to account for this issue, we decided to
survey over 250 current UNC Charlotte students about their current opinion on the current
parking services at the UNC Charlotte. We attempted to make the observations as objective as
possible to have better data analysis.
The team has eventually concluded that several of the UNC Charlotte students do not
appreciate the inconvenience that comes along with parking in certain decks during peak time
hours such as 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. This parking situation is not just an inconvenience. Many
students do not arrive to class on time due to the inconvenient parking spots. This, in turn, causes
a decrease in a students grade point average (GPA) and learning potential.

The overall goal for this particular project is to develop an application that allows UNC
Charlotte students to be aware of the current parking situation and assess their options before
they enter a parking deck, accordingly. This report allows the reader to understand the product
development and use for the group of the students located at UNC Charlotte. From problem
identification, concept generation and selection, fabrication and finally testing the team prepared
to design an application to meet the needs of the college students at UNC Charlotte with students
who face problems with parking accommodations on a consistent basis.

II. Market Analysis Information


A. General Need for Product
The application was developed in response to the needs of UNC Charlotte students for
improved parking accommodations.

Students often have tremendous difficulty locating an appropriate parking spot within
good proximity of the buildings they are trying to access. During the brainstorming aspect of the
parking app development project, all four of us carefully analyzed various research articles and
reverse engineered several designs. We looked for the positive components of each design and
tried to replicate them ourselves. It was also equally critical to analyze the negative aspects in
order to not use these in our own designs.

In recent years, more and more university employees,


as well, tend to choose their residences in places outside the
campus according to Shang Huayan, Lin Wenji and Huang
Haijun from Beihang University, located in Beijing, China
(Huayan, Wenji, Haijun). As a result of this change, the
number of private cars owned by them is increasing rapidly.
This leads to a shortage of campus parking capacity. This is
interesting because it seems as if professors have an easier
time finding parking than undergraduate and graduate college
students. Thus, it must be worse for college students because
university faculty have parking locations that are easier to
access.
Availability of parking within a short period of time is a critical problem. Drivers are
wasting a lot of time circling around on campus multiple times to try to find a vacant spot to park
especially during the peak hours according to Clarice Meilak, student at University of Malta.
(Meilak) At UNC Charlotte in particular, problems with parking are prominent here just as they
are reportedly significant at the University of Malta.

This view illustrates optical image transformations of the original image.


Figure 1.1.1: Cars park in various levels in a parking design. It is impossible for a vehicle to see a
open lot from one level to the other.

According to Zahid Mahmood, Tauseef Ali, Shahid Khattak, Samee U. Khan, and
Laurence T. Yang, a detection system seems to be the most viable option for car identification.
They used a unique algorithm to implement this design. They used chamfer distance classifier in
order to properly classify the vehicles. These researchers used Eigen-Colors to track the vehicles.
The problem with this design is that there is not enough verification to validate the legitimacy of
this design. Also, license plates that are chipped off or muddy were not clearly readable by the
sensors. The sensors also have trouble identifying the license plates in rain, sleet, snow, and hail
precipitation patterns. We also have to account for fake license plates because this issue is
prominent among people above the law such as criminals. Our motion sensor system has to
sophisticated enough to properly limit fake license plate identifications, but not limit authentic
license plates due to errors in information technology.

A system similar to the one in the paragraph above is already implemented at


UNC-Charlotte. Unfortunately, many students are complaining about this system. A current
UNC Charlotte student who wishes to remain anonymous, says, It is arduous for the motion
sensor to capture the photons of the light rays that bounce off the license plate. The angle of
incidence is also heavily impacted by the blockage of the various rain droplets or snowflakes,
based on Snells law. Bad precipitation patterns, such as heavy thunderstorms, tremendously
affect the output and performance level of this system.
B. Description and Estimation of Market Size
There are over 30,000 students that compromise the undergraduate and graduate levels on
the UNC Charlotte campus. Even though students are the target audience, this new parking
application may potentially help employees of the UNC Charlotte system. The employees
include professors, librarians, custodians, and other members paid by UNC Charlotte. This
design seems to be able to applicable to all of them. The important aspect we have to consider is
user interface. We have to consider the types of applications that undergraduate and graduate
students at UNC Charlotte students download. We would have to develop a similar user interface
in order to properly attract attention to this application.

One effective way of analyzing the market is surveys. Surveys convey a direct response
to the supplier of a product because they tell the opinion of the consumer/customer. Our surveys
included objective opinions that were directly caused by questions that include little leeway to
subjective opinions. Parking statistics are not readily available due to the fact that this is not a
popular topic among many researchers within the international scheme and there are not many
software developments or prototypes of parking applications for either IOS, Android, or
Windows cell phone operating systems available in the market as of October 2017.

In order for each member of the team to gain more understanding of the problem, we did
in fact generate an objective survey that includes the honest opinions of the general
undergraduate and graduate populations. In our survey, we were able to understand the opinions
of two hundred fifty two UNC Charlotte undergraduate students, graduate students, and UNC
Charlotte faculty. Almost all of the surveyed individuals were in favor of the parking app.

Out of the 252 students, 67 of them (approximately 26.5 percent) were completely in
favor with our current idea. Only 4 people were indifferent to our development of our planned
application. These results are fitting to our other statistics. 95 individuals from the survey
(approximately 37.7 percent) did get stuck often in the parking decks during their experience
parking. 2.4 percent of the individuals surveyed supposedly never got stuck in the parking decks
at UNC Charlotte. 47.6 percent of these students claim that they were counted tardy or absent
due to these minor inconveniences directly associated with poorly planned parking deck
organization.

Many undergraduate students use outdoor parking to compensate for the major nuisance
caused by the parking decks. Outdoor parking caused the indoor temperatures in the body of the
car to raise significantly. Whereas, the cars in the parking decks are sometimes more than 30
degrees cooler as we have tested on two cars owned by UNC Charlotte students. Even though
we did not officially conduct a study on whether students prefer outdoor parking or indoor
parking, we still do hear complaints about how hot a car can become in the peak hours of
summer (particularly in June-August).

Even though this issue of parking may seem negligible to some people, parking problems
can lead to major and catastrophic consequences to the college campus due to pollution issues.
This may even affect the world since this is a problem on campuses in all of the continents
excluding Antarctica. In one busy business district in the city of Los Angeles, the lack of parking
spots led to drivers travelling in circular motions across the parking lot. This, in turn, leads to the
pollution issues discussed in the introductory sentences of this paragraph.

According to Meilak, Garg, Attard, and Xuereb, parking wastes a lot of fuel by polluting
the surroundings. This is not the main problem that we are trying to address, but it is definitely
beneficial to solve multiple problems while trying to solve one.

In one year, vehicles searching for parking went a distance that is 38 times the
circumference of the planet Earth and burns approximately 730 tons of carbon dioxide and 47000
gallons of gasoline. Carbon dioxide and gasoline were studied, but other chemicals also affect
the atmosphere. Vehicles running on gasoline or diesel also release sulfur dioxide and many
other harmful chemicals that can affect humans and various species of animals. Many diseases
such as squamous cell carcinoma or respiratory issues such as bronchitis can arise from this
unnecessary infiltration that could be avoided by the parking app that we planned and designed.

This problem also affects the UNC Charlotte campus. Due to the inconveniences of
parking, many students illegally opt to park at a nearby hospital called Carolinas HealthCare
System-University. In turn, students get to unfairly gain access to parking and cheats the
transportation system of UNC Charlotte. Many people think that financial factors are the only
factors that cause these illegal actions. We found out that even though financial factors do
account for these actions, the inconveniences of incohesive knowledge on available parking
spaces are a significant factor as well.

III. Problem Statement

Although there is an existing parking application already on the market, those applications are a
significant financial burden and have mediocre user interfaces. High efficiency is typically
achieved by high cost and low efficiency is typically achieved by low cost.

Unlike the application that is already on the market, our parking application will be directed to
the campus of UNC Charlotte. Since we are focusing on an university, we understand that our
application has to significantly different from the ones that deal with uptown city parking. While
competing parking applications aim to find the best parking spots in a city, our application will
notify and alert users whether there are any parking spots available in their prefered parking
deck. Currently we have an application on the Play Store and the App Store that monitors the bus
routes at UNC Charlotte.
As we explicitly stated in previous paragraphs, people in the downtown areas squander their time
trying to find parking in decks and get stuck in them due to overcrowding. Based on this and
personal encounters with parking decks, we concluded that parking decks in university areas are
troublesome to students. It is more troublesome to students than faculty because faculty have
specially designated parking spaces reserved for only themselves.

According to Lee, Yoon, and Ghosh, wireless sensor networks offer an attractive choice for
low-cost and easy-to-deploy solutions for intelligent traffic guidance systems and parking lot
applications.

This parking spot is scanned by high powered cameras that use image processing technologies
that can analyze photons.

The problem is therefore very clear: the people (UNC Charlotte students) who use current
parking devices often do so with poor information and impeded ability to find parking in a timely
manner, and may experience significant wastes of time and fuel. To address this challenge, the
team plans to design a mobile IOS and Android application device that will allow for a
comparable level of stability, efficiency in finding parking, and information that is needed for
effective parking planning on the part of students while actively encouraging and providing a
means for effectively finding parking on the campus of UNC Charlotte. This newly-designed
application will also appeal to the user in an aesthetically pleasing way, in order to alleviate the
stigma associated with using a mobile application on an inconveniently small screen.