A university student in Kenya has invented a computer system to map and monitor parking lots. The software informs motorists about the availability of parking space in the city.
Patrick Waweru, a computer student at the University of Nairobi, said the system uses sensors placed on the streets that detect if a vehicle is parked in a particular area.
"There will be geomagnetic sensors installed underground on the streets and detect earth's magnetic fields. When a vehicle comes, it will disrupt the field and the sensor will detect and send information to our server," he said.
Waweru said the information will be displayed in form of a map that can be searched on a browser, just like Google maps, using a mobile phone or a tablet.
"You simply use your smartphone to search, say Kenyatta Street. It will show you empty parking lots," he said.
Waweru said the application can be downloaded from www.multisys.co.ke and installed on a mobile device.
He showcased his work yesterday during the ongoing university's innovation week.
Waweru said he is working with the Nairobi government, through the university's School of Computer, to instal the underground sensors in the city streets ahead of the launch next year.
He said the invention aims to reduce the time and fuel motorists use searching for parking spaces in the city.
"This system will reduce traffic jam that we experience in the Nairobi," Waweru said.
The showcasing, which started on Saturday, ends today. It brought together hundreds of local and international innovators who displayed their work.