Bond Communications was commissioned by the ABU DHABI CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY to build the car park management system for terminal 2 of the Abu Dhabi International Airport.
The Car Park Management system is designed to provide information to motorist, to regulate, control and monitor the traffic through and within the entire car park facility:
The machinery for the Terminal 2 car park is sourced from numerous parking equipment suppliers to create income streams, creating unique requirements and challenges to overcome.
The system includes the following components:
Entry devices such as Entry Column Gates, Entry Barrier Gates and Detection Loops for the entry of vehicles)
Exit devices such as Manual Cashiers, Exit Barrier Gates and Detection Loops for the exit of vehicles)
Management System called Parking Logic, Biz Logic
Network and infrastructure
The car park management equipments includes three entry barriers with combined ticket dispenser/proximity contract Passcard reader, two exit barriers with combined manual exit ticket/proximity contract Passcard reader, one management computer/with ticket reader/coding unit located in the Car Park Management Office. An inkjet color report printer is also installed, two Work Stations at the Exit Cashier Booth and one intercom system from each entrance ticket control column and Manual cashier Booth to the car park management office that can be switched to the Security suite after normal operating hours.
Typical functions of the management computer and workstation(s)
- Control and Management of all equipment and system alarms
- Database management of Contract Parkers
- Full financial reporting – by time, day, week, month, equipment device, cashier etc.
- Credit card payment/authorization
- Car Park Capacity Control
- Full tariff management
- Ticket validations and discounts
- Fault monitoring and rectification – full logging/reporting
- Data Transfer management – either as ASCII, XML or via on-line interface
- System configuration – User access levels and authorization codes, payment methods, coin and bank notes acceptance criteria, level space management settings….etc
The Parking Barrier is a robust device with high reliability and longevity manufactured from materials such as high-grade non-corrosive steel and/or durable impact resistant plastic, conforming to ISO 9001 QA standards. It consists of a three-phase, geared motor with frequency converter control allowing for start and stop control of the Barrier arm without the use of limit switches open time does not exceed 1.5 seconds. The self locking gear system ensures that the Barrier arm cannot be lifted manually.
The Parking Barrier is free of any front line maintenance requirements – no need for lube jobs, limit switch settings, etc.
The Parking Barrier accommodates both straight and articulated barrier arms, to cater for all applications. It also includes a passive rubber safety strip along its bottom edge for added safety. The Barrier arm is secured to the drive assembly via a shear arrangement that allows the arm to be knocked off without damage to the arm or barrier. All Barrier arm breakages / removals are be logged as part of the system audit trail. The Barrier arm can be refitted without the use of specialized tools.
The signal to the Barrier to ‘open’ is an intelligent command, and not a simple relay switching device. In terms of revenue security, a Barrier opened by a relay switching device is a weakness as it is easily by-passed with basic tools (e.g. a pair of pliers). The ‘open’ command is logged as part of the system audit trail. The Barrier manual override switch is NOT installed in the Barrier it-self, but in the relevant Entry or Exit device. Activation of this override switch is logged within the system audit trail.
Entry - Ticket Issuing Device (Column Gate: Entrance Column)
The Column Gate: Entrance Column includes self-explanatory, easy to understand controls. An intercom help point is integrated into the Entry device. This intercom unit is linked to a ‘master’ control unit allowing two-way sound communication.
To ensure longevity, the Parking Column is manufactured from materials such as high-grade non-corrosive steel and/or durable impact resistant plastic. A display device is incorporated into the Entry device, to display user messages for guidance and operation, and to facilitate maintenance procedures. There are two types of display available, a two lines LCD display or a graphic color LCD display.
The Entry device is activated by the presence of a vehicle on a detection loop. This sensing device has frequency and sensitivity settings. Frequency allows multiple loops to be installed near each other (multiple entry lanes) and sensitivity to select what types of vehicles are to be sensed (standard passenger cars, motor bikes, etc).
The Entry device is able to accommodate the issue of short term paper-based tickets (issued either by pressing a button or automatically when sensed by the activation loop) and the reading of a variety of cards (staff, customers, etc) cards. The basic unit includes the ‘push button for paper ticket’ option.
Paper tickets, using a thermo graphic printer, are encoded with the following information:
- Entry time & date
- Unique ticket transaction number
- Entry device identification
- Site identification
Paper tickets are individual credit card size tickets and are stored in the Entry device in boxes of 5000. A sensor detects the tickets and provides a warning when the ticket stock is low.
The generation of paper tickets and the reading of magnetic stripe cards are achieved via a motorized ticket read/write mechanism – called coder unit - within the Entry device.
Paper tickets will be encoded and moved into the Entry device mouthpiece by the motorized mechanism, to a position where the driver can see the ticket. The driver will then have to remove the ticket from the mouthpiece causing the barrier arm to rise.
Magnetic stripe cards inserted into the mouthpiece will cause the card’s presence to be detected, and the card drawn into the Entry device mechanism for processing. Once processed, the card will be moved back into the mouthpiece for removal by the driver again causing the barrier arm to rise.
The Entry device is able to process data from multiple technologies and ticket/card types, e.g. bar code and magnetic stripe tickets and cards; proximity cards; etc.
For any data carrier (ticket/card) that has to be inserted into the Entry device to be processed, ‘single slot technology’ is available, where all types of the data carrier are inserted into the same slot on the Entry device.
In the case of paper tickets issued by the Entry device but not removed by the driver, such tickets, commonly known as a ‘back-off tickets’ are moved back into the Entry device, ‘written’ on in such a way as to make the ticket use-less within the system, and dumped into a storage device within the Entry device. The fact that this ticket has been so processed is transmitted to the other parking equipment within the system, to ensure that this ticket cannot be used at any other device. This fact is stored as part of the system audit trail.
Additional third party equipment such as key readers, car readers, cameras, etc. can be easily integrated into the Entry device.
The Entry device conforms to ISO 9001 Quality Assurance standards and accommodates a ticket less transaction (credit card entry and exit without visiting a payment facility). Consumable costs are important; therefore barcode technology is preferred for paper tickets. All device activity must be logged in the system activity database.
Once processed, the card will be moved back into the mouthpiece for removal by the driver. The act of removing the card from the Entry device mouthpiece causes the barrier arm to rise.
Alternatively, the ticket will be ‘written’ over with information to make sure that the ticket cannot be used within the system again, and dumped into a collection bin within the Exit device.
Invalid payment; once processed, such tickets or cards will be returned to the mouthpiece, with a relevant error message displayed on the Exit device display. The driver can then remove the ticket/card from the mouthpiece and return to a payment or manual processing device within the system. The barrier will not rise when the ticket/card is removed from the mouthpiece.
The Exit device is able to process data from multiple technologies and ticket/card types, e.g. bar code and magnetic stripe tickets; magnetic stripe cards; proximity cards; etc.
As with the Entrance Column Gate, any data carrier (ticket/card) that has to be inserted into the Exit device to be processed, ‘single slot technology’ is available, where all types of the data carrier are inserted into the same slot on the device. The construction of the device is such that additional third party equipment such as key readers, car readers, cameras, etc can be easily integrated into the Exit device.
The Exit device conforms to ISO 9001 Quality Assurance standards and accommodates the use of credit cards on exit (for exit and payment purposes), to perform a ticket less transaction (credit card entry and exit without visiting a payment facility). In the above credit card facility, a receipt is issued at the Exit column. In cases where credit card In/Out functionality is utilized, the act of removal of the receipt raises the barrier arm.
The Manual Cash device includes an intelligent storage device (PC), display (PC monitor), keyboard that includes a number of user-configurable function keys, printer and a ticket/card processing (read/write) unit (Coder).
The Manual Cash is activated by the insertion of a ticket/card into the processing unit’s mouthpiece, or the pressing of a key on the keyboard and is able to accommodate the payment of short term paper-based tickets; the reading of and writing to a variety of season (staff, customers, etc) cards; and the creation (entered in-to the system database), printing and programming of a variety of tickets and cards.
The following payment methods are included with the Manual Cash device:
The Manual Payment device includes a cashier drawer to hold the notes, coins and checks used for payment and accommodate the use of credit cards for payment of parking transactions. A receipt is produced by the Manual Payment device. Once the payment for a paper ticket has been completed, the individual credit card sized ticket is encoded with the following information clearly printed using thermo graphic printing:
- Payment time & date
- Payment amount
- Payment device identification
The processing of paper tickets and magnetic stripe cards is achieved via a motorized ticket read/write mechanism called coder unit within the Manual Payment device.
Magnetic stripe cards and paper tickets to be read by the Payment device are inserted into the mouthpiece. This insertion process causes the card/ticket presence to be detected, and drawn into the Payment device mechanism for processing
Valid payment - Once processed, the card will be moved back into the mouthpiece for removal by the user.
Invalid payment – Once processed, such tickets or cards will be returned to the mouthpiece, with a relevant error message displayed on the Payment device display. The user can then re-move the ticket/card from the mouthpiece, and process the payment via a manual procedure.
The Manual Payment device is able to process data from multiple technologies and ticket/card types, e.g. bar code and magnetic stripe tickets; magnetic stripe cards; proximity cards; etc.
For any data carrier (ticket/card) that has to be inserted into the Manual Payment device to be processed, ‘single slot technology’ is available, where all types of the data carrier are inserted into the same slot on the Payment device.
The Payment device conforms to ISO 9001 Quality Assurance standards. Consumable costs are important; therefore barcode technology is preferred for paper tickets.
The Manual Payment device accommodates pre-printed validation tickets as well as paper tickets and credit card payment, in any configuration.
Operation of the Manual Payment device is via a clearly structured, easy to use graphic user interface (GUI). The operating system is Windows XP Professional.
The Manual Payment device is capable of producing all system-based ticket types, debit cards and special purpose cards/tickets. Special (one-off sales) can be made from the Manual Payment device, e.g. purchase of cold drinks. The Manual Payment device has also the capability to produce replacement tickets. All device activity is logged in the system activity database.
To operate the Manual Payment device, users must log-on using a unique password and/or PIN. This logging on and off is known as a shift. A shift report can be produced automatically when a shift is ended. A UPS can be deployed to ensure fail safe operation.
Central Management Device
The Central Management device includes an intelligent storage device (PC), display (PC monitor), keyboard, mouse, and printer. As an option, if the functionality of the Manual Payment device does not cover this unit, a ticket/card processing (read/write) unit.
To operate the Central Management device, users must log-on using a unique password and/or PIN. All functionality available to the user is controlled according to his/her password level. Individual tasks to be performed by the individual operators can be allowed/ declined in the system software. Obviously access to this level of software where actions are sanctioned is at the highest level. All device activity is logged in the system activity database.
Day-to-day operation of the car park – e.g. raise barriers manually; view the contents of the Automatic Payment device; view the transaction details of a ticket paid for at an Automatic Payment device; view alarm signals relevant to any piece of parking equipment; etc.
Storage all of the device activity in the system activity database; the security of this database is of paramount importance, as complete revenue protection rests with this Hard Disk Drive (HDD).
System reports depicting various system and device activity; these reports can be statistical analysis, movement of cardholders, revenue, etc.
The intercom system provides full two-way audio communication between each of the parking devices and a master control unit.
The master control unit is installed in the same place as the Central Management device, to facilitate full communication during the operational control procedures, e.g. talking to a client whilst trying to instruct them on what to do, what is wrong with their ticket, etc.