Antwerp to develop sophisticated ‘city observer’
Antwerp is working on a ‘super scan car’. It will be used to check whether people have paid for their parking places, and it will also detect illegal parkers, signaled cars, illegal dumping, and broken traffic signs.
Other cities, like Brussels, Ghent, and Knokke-Heist already have so-called ‘scan cars’ that can read license plates and check whether people have paid their parking fees. The car can easily check 2.000 cars per hour. A human parking lot attendant on foot can only check 70 vehicles on average. In Brussels, the scan cars already check 36.000 cars a day.
But the city of Antwerp is determined to go a step further and is, therefore, developing a real ‘Antwerp city observer’. The car will be equipped with infrared cameras, laser machinery, a 360-degree camera, and GPS.
“The main goal of the car is to provide our city with more information,” explains the cabinet of the Antwerp Alderman of Mobility, Koen Kennis (N-VA). According to Kennis, Antwerp needs to become a smart city with more technology. The gathered information will contribute to the city’s parking and traffic policy. The city wants the city observer to be operational by the end of next year.
Kennis emphasizes that the parking lot attendants don’t need to be afraid of losing their jobs. Several neighborhoods will still requirer human surveillance. Besides, they will be asked to check the information the city observer collects on the spot.