PlacePod is an IoT-enabled smart parking sensor for on-street and off-street public and private parking management.

PlacePod solves the most mission-critical aspects of parking management: accurate, real-time vehicle detection and the location of available parking spaces.  PlacePod is an in-ground or surface-mounted sensor that communicates with a gateway to provide real-time parking data over a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN). It provides accurate vehicle detection in parking spaces, up to 10 years of battery life, and is stable over temperature fluctuations, even in harsh environments.

Incorporating real-time parking data from PlacePod smart parking sensors into a parking management strategy can help reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions, foster economic development and improve urban mobility, and increase parking revenue.

Features & Benefits

  • Includes the industry’s most accurate magnetic sensing system for vehicle detection with the combination of PNI’s high-performance magnetic sensor and vehicle detection algorithms that accurately detect the presence or absence of a car in a parking space.
  • PlacePod vehicle detection algorithms offer machine learning capability. This unique feature provides improved accuracy when filtering out local electromagnetic interference and changes in the local magnetic field. Improved vehicle detection algorithms and continuous monitoring provide more accurate detection for vehicles in neighboring parking spaces. This is ideal for space-constrained or narrow parking spaces.
  • With its auto-calibration feature, PlacePod does not require any calibration during installation or when firmware is updated.  Calibration is optional. This saves time during installation and lowers total cost of ownership of the system.
  • Unlike other parking sensors, PlacePod provides continuous vehicle detection without missing a parking event.
  • Capability for wireless configuration and software updates using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) via PNI’s mobile iOS and Android applications.
  • Unlike other magnetic sensor-based parking sensors, PlacePod accurately detects parking events in dense urban environments and filters out electromagnetic interference or “noise” such as direct current from overhead power lines, interference from underground trains, or transient magnetic signatures from passing traffic, which can trigger false parking events.
  • Customers can visualize parking data using PNI’s Parking Management Application – a comprehensive dashboard for managing and monitoring all parking resources and data, including installation and verification, diagnostics, monitoring, and reporting.
  • Using the PlacePod API, data can be shared with 3rd-party applications (including IoT platforms, parking enforcement, mobile payment, parking management systems, parking guidance systems).
  • Includes a built-in LoRa® radio that communicates to a gateway or base station with complete Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) compatibility.

Built-In Accuracy and Reliability

PlacePod smart parking sensors include PNI’s RM3100 geomagnetic sensor, which is the highest-performance magnetic sensor in its class. The RM3100 incorporates proprietary magneto-inductive technology that has more than 30 times the sensitivity of other magnetic sensors and is stable over temperature fluctuations. The sensors and algorithms are optimized for always-on, highly-accurate vehicle detection while maintaining ultra-low-power operation. Other parking sensors manage power consumption by putting the parking sensor into “sleep mode” during which they are unable to detect the presence or absence of a vehicle.

Documentation & Resources

PNI PlacePod Vehicle Detection Sensor User Manual

PlacePod Vehicle Detection Sensor Sales Sheet

PlacePod Smart Parking Sensor Installation Guide V2

PNI PlacePod Sensor – Communications Protocol

PNI PlacePod Utility Application iOS User Manual

PNI Sensor Parking Management App User Manual

PlacePod Sensor Utility – Android User Manual


Use Cases

  • NVIDIA installed more than 300 PlacePod smart parking sensors in the parking garage of its new state-of-the art corporate headquarters in California’s Silicon Valley
  • Sensors are connected to a private, on-premise LoRaWAN
  • Sensors monitor the availability of special interest spaces such as electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and spots reserved for people with disabilities

  • Momentum Developments, one of Canada’s leading urban developers, uses PlacePod sensors to help track and optimize the usage of their commercial and mixed-use parking assets
  • Real-time and historical parking data is used to help Momentum monitor the usage of all types of parking spaces: residential, visitor, EV, disabled and commercial
  • Collecting parking space usage data is the first step in a plan to monetize parking for specific spaces at commercial properties

  • Semtech Corporation uses PlacePod sensors in electric vehicle parking spaces to measure occupancy status at their corporate headquarters
  • PlacePod sensors are connected to Semtech’s private LPWAN
  • Now employees receive alerts in real-time when EV parking spaces are available

  • The University of British Colombia-Vancouver uses PlacePod sensors to improve the parking experience and ensure optimal availability in spaces designated for people with disabilities
  • Sensors are connected to a campus-wide LoRaWAN
  • UBC also uses the LoRaWAN to monitor and manage garbage and recycling bins to make collection more efficient and reduce operating costs

  • The city of Amritsar, India uses PlacePods in curb-side parking spaces to minimize illegal parking, reduce traffic congestion, maintain open lanes for emergency vehicles to pass, and increase revenue from parking enforcement
  • Sensors are connected to a LoRaWAN and data is shared via a third-party IoT platform
  • Return on investment (ROI) for the smart parking sensor deployment is 10x system cost

  • The city of Stratford, Ontario installed PlacePods in on-street parking spaces around busy downtown and City Hall areas to help drivers find open spots
  • The city uses a public LoRaWAN and sensors share data with Canada’s Open Data Exchange IoT program
  • Real-time parking data is used to detect trends, track parking usage, and optimize parking assets

  • The city of El Monte, California installed PlacePods in downtown parking lots to notify drivers about open parking spaces
  • Real-time parking data is relayed to digital signs to notify drivers about available spaces and make it more convenient for customers to park at local businesses
  • The smart parking project is a cornerstone of the city’s revitalization project and plans to foster new economic development

  • The city of Bodo, Norway installed PlacePods in electronic vehicle (EV) charging spaces to ensure that cars parked there are using the chargers, not parked illegally in the restricted spaces
  • Sensors are connected to a LoRaWAN and data is shared with a third-party payment system that sends alerts to parking enforcement personnel
  • Now the city can efficiently collect fines for illegally parked cars and make it more convenient for EV drivers to use charging stations



PlacePod In-Ground Smart Parking Sensor
PlacePod Surface-Mount Smart Parking Sensor

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