Amazon orders major new parking guidance system from Q-Free UK

Q-Free has arrived in the UK parking market in a big way, following the commissioning of a three-storey, 2,400-space facility which will serve Amazon’s operations from its Fulfilment Centre at Tilbury in the County of Essex.

Within the Amazon Tilbury Fulfilment Centre’s car park, ceiling mounted USDS ultrasonic detection sensors monitor spaces.

This facility is one of the largest distribution centres in Europe, and Q-Free UK was approached by McLaren Construction Ltd. to provide the site with a modern Parking Guidance System (PGS). Q-Free’s in-house smart PGS solution included Ultrasonic Directional Sensors (USDS) for counting and Variable Message Signs (VMS) for on-site guidance.

“The new PGS will operate 24 hours a day, and will provide associates — Amazon’s term for its employees — with parking guidance based on zones, vehicle facility and level counting,” explains David Caplin, Business Development Manager Parking within Q-Free UK. “Rather than being given the number of spaces available on any individual level within the facility, as may happen in such as a shopping centre, those arriving are guided to zones according to the shifts that they will be working on.’’

Ceiling mounted USDS covering the lane and ramps.

“Guidance is provided by two totems, which give level and lane instructions, and four external and two internal VMS. Vehicle presence and counting information is provided by Q-Free’s ceiling-mounted USDS that detect vehicle entry/exit by ultrasonic directional measurements within the facility and, on the third storey where there is no ceiling, inductive loops. The Q-Free wireless communication solution takes advantage of wireless Mesh technology, allowing the sensors and signs to communicate through multiple pathways. It reduces the cost of cabling and installation associated with a traditional hard-wired Parking Guidance Solution (PGS). Each device, or group of devices, is wired locally to a modem. This modem wirelessly transfers the device information to the PGS gateway. The gateway is connected through a network to the PGS server where the Q-Free Visual Control Centre software manages the whole system and provides a graphical user interface.”

“It’s a great first project to land and commission in the UK parking market for us. We’ve gained two prestigious clients, in the form of McLaren Construction Ltd. and Amazon, and a major new facility which can act as a springboard and reference for future business.”

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