Visionful team

Left to right: Payam Vaezi, CTO Kamran Alipour and COO Masoud Jalali

Three Tritons Take on the Campus
Parking Predictability Problem

Most UC San Diego students, employees and visitors have experienced the frustration of trying to find a parking space in congested campus areas. Transportation Services’ latest campus parking space tally was 17,980 — excluding campus housing allocated spaces. Currently, only 1,245 of them in Athena Parking Structure are connected to a parking guidance system that monitors availability on a sign near the entrance. Imagine if you could access live parking availability for all campus parking lots from an app before you arrive. Recent UC San Diego Ph.D. graduate and researcher Payam Vaezi not only imagined it, he’s also working on making it happen.

Although the campus has invested in parking guidance systems for new structures, it currently has no automated system for monitoring availability in parking lots. Monitoring real-time availability is a labor-intensive process performed by a few dedicated Transportation Services staff. The investment required to monitor all campus parking facilities using existing technologies would outweigh the benefits.

Payam, founder and CEO of Visionful, is a Ph.D. who specializes in deep learning, data science and predictive modeling who conceived the innovative system. He teamed up with two fellow Tritons, CTO Kamran Alipour, a Ph.D. student who specializes in image processing, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, and COO Masoud Jalali, Ph.D. who specializes in machine learning, high-performance programing and parallel computing, to develop a vision-based parking monitoring and management system.

In real time, Visionful’s network of smart cameras powered by a graphics processing unit and artificial intelligence identifies empty spaces in parking lots and automates the enforcement processes. Its cutting-edge algorithm makes it more accurate than existing solutions. Drivers get real-time vacancy information from Visionful’s app that can be connected to other mobile apps and, ultimately, self-driving cars. The system also notifies enforcement staff when a vehicle’s parking permit has expired so compliance officers can more efficiently issue citations. These features make Visionful a low-risk, cost-effective investment that could solve the campus parking predictability problem.

Resource Management & Planning and Procure-To-Pay Solutions are working with the Visionful team to identify campus parking lots to pilot test their system. The team hopes to have a successful trial to rollout the program campuswide. Successful implementation on our campus opens the door for Visionful to approach other schools and potential target markets. They aspire to join the Smart Cities community by connecting intelligent parking and other infrastructures with drivers and future driverless cars to save drivers time, money and ultimately reduce our carbon footprint.