Telematically controlled Compact Parking

Larger parking areas through the intelligent use of the available space

The Challenge

As the volume of road haulage traffic on motorways continues to increase, there is a growing lack of parking spaces for breaks and rest periods.

In addition to the expansion of the current facilities there is a need for short-term solutions that allow existing service areas to be utilised to the full without compromising road safety. By organising parking according to departure times it is possible to accommodate more vehicles in a relatively small space, and the areas used previously as driving lanes can now also be employed for parking.

The Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) has developed the new telematic Compact Parking method to achieve this.

The Procedure

The Compact Driving method allows trucks to park right behind one another when their drivers plan to leave the service area at the same time or later than the truck immediately in front of them.

Dynamic displays show departure times in free parking lanes for both short-term and long-term stays. As the parking area starts to get full, the range of times offered focuses on the most popular departure times. When drivers arrive they decide for themselves where to park – depending on when they plan to leave and the length of their vehicle.

Sensors detect when a parking lane is fully occupied.

Technical implementation

The control algorithm is a key factor contributing to the success of the whole Compact Truck Parking System.

Depending on occupancy levels and the expected demand, departure times are offered to the truck drivers arriving at the service area. The control management system has to adhere to a number of rules:

  • The departure time displayed (on 35 overhead display monitors) are always shown in ascending chronological order in the direction the driver is travelling
  • Departure times are updated by the system at regular intervals and when there are significant changes to occupancy levels
  • Departure times can only be replaced by later times
  • Popular departure times are also offered in neighbouring parking lanes which have spaces available when a lane is fully occupied
  • The range of departure times on offer varies according to the time of day (more short-term stays offered in the morning, from the afternoon onwards primarily long-term stays till the next morning)
  • Special departure times are offered at weekends as well as on public holidays (parking till the next working day)
Compact parking in four steps – this is how it works.