PORT ELIZABETH- A Port Elizabeth innovator has invented a unique system that will stop motorists misusing spaces reserved parking for disabled persons.
The innovation still in its pilot phase but initial phase has proved to be successful.
Innovator, Q Systems SA owner Heinrich Williams hopes the app becomes a standard practice nationally.
Williams said the project took him nearly four years, he called it QPark and offers two options with a person with disability to choose from to protect their rights.
Option number one entails a traffic light that turns yellow when a vehicle pulls into the space, the user then has a short time to log into the QPark smartphone app, but if the motorist is not a registered user, a siren will sound to indicate it.
Another system is a foot-high barrier in the parking space, which can only be lowered by using the app.
Williams said, “Change management will be critical to the success of the system,”
“We would need to educate users on how the system will work.”
He said his experience in the automotive industry was influential in creating the app and because he himself uses a wheelchair, “I had a background in the automotive industry so I knew it was possible to resolve the issue. I approached the Nelson Mandela University to develop a proof of concept.”
He was frustrated by people misusing the parking spaces.
“There are still a couple of small things to tweak, but the system is working without major hiccups.”
The app also allows users who are not signed up to the app to be given a option on where they can find parking space near them.
“The landlords would be paying for the system, and the idea is to run the pilot phase over a year and see how the public accepts it. We want to roll out both options of the system to see which one the public embraces more.
“The reception for the concept [by the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities] was positive. If the next phase is successful – which I believe it will be – it could be accepted as the national standard for disabled parking spaces.”
He also hopes to expand the scope of the project. “The initial idea was for disabled parking spaces, but as we develop the system we identify other markets. It could also be used for emergency vehicle spaces, loading zones and perhaps even bus lanes – but this is the right avenue to start the process.
“Nothing else like this exists. If we can find a solution, I am sure we can grow it beyond South Africa.”
Photo Credit- Supplied