Local designer and manufacturer of electronic vehicle detection and control products for the parking industry Nortech International is expected to complete the installation of a parking guidance system, IdentiPark, at the National Stadium, in Beijing, China.

The stadium is under construction and is scheduled for completion this month and will host the main track and field competitions for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Nortech MD Jonathan Hallowes says that one of the most challenging issues that face the organisers of the Beijing 2008 Olympics is the high level of pollution in and around Beijing.

“By directing vehicles to the nearest parking spaces available, IdentiPark plays a role in keeping toxic emissions from unnecessary queuing and meandering to a minimum,” says Hallowes.

IdentiPark provides real-time information on occupancy of the facility and can be used to control ventilation and lighting. It operates off a low power base and automatically adjusts illumination intensity to ambient light conditions. This, Hallowes says, reduces demand for power required to effectively run IdentiPark.

The IdentiPark system will notify the driver through signs of the occupation of the facility on each level. Drivers are guided by illuminated arrows and message signs to areas of reliable vacancy and then to vacant bays. These bays are identified by green-lit sensors above each bay.

The light of the sensor of an occupied bay will change to red, and the information will be fed back through an array of intelligent boosters and data concentrators to a central computer, which will instantly update the changes to signs and arrows and the real-time status reports.

The IdentiPark system was developed over three years by Nortech and is manufactured in South Africa. While the electronic components are sourced mainly from Asia through South African distributors, the manu- facture and the intellectual property are ‘proudly South African’.

The system has already been installed in the US, France, the UK and Hong Kong, with future contracts expected in the Far East, the Middle East and Australia. Installation and maintenance teams are available in South Africa; however, all international distribution and maintenance are referred to Nortech’s global distributors.

In South Africa, the system is currently being installed at the Cavendish shopping centre, in Cape Town. While the technology has been around for a few years, Hallowes tells Engineering News that the parking guidance system is new to South Africa.

Commenting on the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Hallowes says that, while there is potential in securing contracts for IdentiPark at stadiums under construction, this will only be confirmed when plans for the parking facilities are disclosed.

Hallowes expects international growth of the technology used in IdentiPark, and says that this is a result of parking becoming a scarce commodity.

Nortech is also known for its traffic and parking detectors and is one of the world’s largest suppliers of electronic components for detection, counting, access and control systems for vehicles, traffic and people.