UMass Dartmouth student Amir Ehsani Zonouz won first prize in the competition from global technology powerhouse Siemens. The Mobility IDEA (Improving Design and Engineering for All) Contest is an initiative to find innovative ideas to help solve five of the toughest challenges facing the traffic industry.
With the quadcopter, drivers would be guided to the sparking space either by following the drone to the spot via a mobile app or directly through the car’s communication system. The technology would also have the ability to use infrared and thermal cameras to fly at night and help monitor for heatstroke conditions.
Siemens will hold an innovation workshop for Zonouz to produce a fully developed prototype of the technology.
“This contest brought in a wealth of interesting, innovative and forward-thinking ideas to help solve our greatest traffic challenges,” says Ben Collar, head of U.S. research and development for Siemens road and city mobility. “But with thirty percent of downtown traffic created by people looking for parking spaces, the judges found Zonouz’s idea to utilize drones to monitor and identify parking spots the most innovative and potentially impactful idea in this contest.”
Photo courtesy of Siemens