Fighting against the misuse of the European parking card

Photo: Sign for disabled parking space

SIMON system features specific applications for parking controllers, so that they can clearly identify users who commit fraud; © Etchells

SIMON – Assisted mobility for older and impaired users – is a demonstration oriented project that started in January 2014, with three large scale pilots in Madrid, Lisbon and Parma. SIMON aims at promoting the independent living and societal participation of mobility impaired people in the context of public parking areas and multiple transport modes, through the adoption of specific navigation information and access-rights management solutions.

To do so it integrates different ICT solutions that enable users to significantly improve their mobility, promoting their access to the available information, providing new tools and ensuring management of their access rights safely.

The project "is addressing two major milestones: the reduction of fraud in the use of the European parking card, through ICT solutions (smart cards and mobile devices); and multimodal navigation-specific solutions for the elderly and disabled: routes, accessibility information, incidents, etc." has commented Eva Maria Muñoz from ETRA I+D, the company coordinating the project.

One of the applications that have been developed is SIMON LEADS: a mobile app that will provide people with disabilities different mobility, parking and transportation services. "The idea is that through this application users can find accessible routes and activate validation mechanisms to access restricted areas of the city or parking spaces reserved for the disabled with all the guarantees. All these applications can both improve the mobility of users and facilitate the management and control by transport companies and municipalities".

SIMON system also features specific applications for parking controllers, so that they can clearly identify users who commit fraud and provide information on available parking spaces for people with reduced mobility.

Finally, SIMON will have a management and administration system aimed at mobility service providers (transport companies, municipalities) to enable real-time information to improve and optimise the services offered to citizens.

The modernisation of the European parking card and the provision of several services to assist mobility are therefore the main pillars of this project in which seven partners are actively involved: the company ETRA I+D (Spain), the Institute of Biomechanics of Valencia (Spain), Locoslab GmbH (Germany), Empresa Pública Municipal de Mobilidade e Estacionamento de Lisboa (Portugal), the Madrid City Council (Spain), Consorcio Regional de Transportes de Madrid (Spain) and Infomobility SpA (Italy). To complement and reinforce the role of the partners, a large User Group was defined to be actively involved in the system development and pilot testing, involving different bodies at national (CERMI, UDP, ACAPO, ANMIC, Lisboa city council…) and European level (AGE, POLIS, EPA…).

The participation of all these entities will be crucial in the coming months as the pilot phase which now begins in Madrid, Lisbon and Parma aims to involve up to 5,000 users among people with disabilities, seniors, relatives, workers and public services managers. This ambitious goal will enable to deploy all the services covered by the project so as to demonstrate the utility of SIMON in real contexts and enable its implementation in Europe.; Source: Asociación RUVID

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