Smart parking

Managing parking in high demand locations

Smart parking sensors

Our smart parking project

The Integrated Smart Parking project seeks to use smart technologies to better manage public parking in high-demand areas and reduce congestion associated with drivers looking for a place to park.

Starting in September 2020, Coogee Beach will be the first location in Randwick City to trial smart parking technology, which uses cameras and in-ground sensors to identify how many parking spaces are available in a given area. Smart parking trials will also be rolled out to locations in Kingsford and Kensington later in the year.

The Integrated Smart Parking project is being jointly funded by Randwick City Council and through a grant from the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs program. It is a joint initiative between the Australian Government, Randwick Council, The University of New South Wales and BaseUp Technologies Pty Ltd.

How does it work?

The project involves the use of cameras and in-ground sensors to live monitor the availability of parking spaces in certain areas. Community surveys will also be undertaken to better understand parking needs and preferences.

Data collected from sensors and cameras will be conveyed to motorists via onsite digital signage or the PayStay app to direct motorists to available parking.

In-ground sensors

In-ground sensors work by inserting a small sensor in each parking space. The sensors are typically installed flush with the ground or slightly below the surface and covered to ensure that they don’t pose a trip hazard. The sensor detects when a vehicle is parked in the parking space and sends this information back to a central processing platform. In-ground sensors are the simplest and most widespread method used for monitoring parking availability. To function, inground sensors require parking spaces to be line-marked.


Cameras can be used to determine whether a parking space is occupied or available through video imaging and analytics. The images collected are de-identified so that number plates and faces are not recognisable.

Cameras have the potential to be more cost efficient than sensors as they can monitor multiple spaces at once. They also have additional benefits such as the ability to monitor unmarked spaces, identify hazardous parking, and record information such as the size of each space. However, due to the volume of data that cameras transmit, they generally require a nearby Ethernet or 4G network connection. They also cannot be used in areas with tree canopy coverage or other visual impediments. Council is trialling this technology in the Coogee Oval off-street car park.

Pay via your phone

The existing parking meters in the Coogee Oval and Coogee Beach car parks will be upgraded with additional and more convenient payment options. Users will be able to pay using credit card, coins or their phone, or via the PayStay app, which allows users to only pay for the time they use.

App users will be able to enter their registration details as well as the zone number, which will be clearly displayed on signs. Through the app they can start and finish their parking session and, if in a paid parking zone, only pay for the time they are there. Users can also opt to receive an SMS reminder if their session is about to end.

Smart parking trial


Map of Coogee smart parking trial location

Starting in September 2020, Council will trial smart parking technology in two locations in Coogee:

  1. Coogee Beach off-street car park (near Coogee Pavilion)
  2. Coogee Oval off-street car park

Visitors to Coogee will be able to use the PayStay app to see if there are high, medium or low numbers of car spaces available at the Coogee Beach car park and Coogee Oval car park, or they can use the newly installed LED smart signs, located outside the car parks, to see the number of available spaces.

Sensors will be installed in each car space in the Coogee Beach car park and cameras will be installed in the Coogee Oval car park. Live data will be broadcast on digital signs at the approach to the car parks. Digital signage will be live by the end of September 2020.

It is hoped the signage will help alleviate significant congestion that occurs on busy summer days.


Map of Kensington smart parking trial location

Later in 2020, Council will trial the same smart parking technology in two locations in Kensington:

  1. Bowral Street (between Anzac Parade and Doncaster Avenue)
  2. Villiers Street (between Todman Avenue and Addison Street)

Inground sensors will be installed in each parking space on Bowral Street and Villiers Street. Existing parallel parking spaces on both roads will be line-marked to allow the technology to work.


Map of Kingsford smart parking trial location

Later in 2020, Council will trial the same smart parking technology in the following locations in Kingsford:

  1. Borrodale Road (between Anzac Parade and Houston Rd)
  2. Houston Lane car park (cnr Houston Lane & Borrodale Road)
  3. Houston Road car park (off Houston Road)

Inground sensors will be installed in each parking space in this Kingsford trial area (excluding carshare spaces). A small area of existing parallel parking on Borrodale Road will be line-marked into two standard sized parking bays to allow the technology to work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Council installing more parking meter areas?

Council is not changing the existing parking meter areas at Coogee Beach. This project is about making it easier to find a parking space and reducing congestion caused by motorists doing laps looking for a car park. It is not linked to metered car parking. The only public metered parking locations in Randwick City are at Coogee Beach and these propose to remain unchanged.

Can multiple motorbikes or scooters still park in the same space?

Yes, scooters and motorbikes can continue to occupy the same parking space.

What happens if a scooter or motorbike parks in a parking space but doesn’t trigger the sensor?

Council is trialling the technology to find out if issues like this will occur. It is possible that a scooter or motorbike parked in a marked space may not trigger the sensor and it will come up as free on signage and the website. This is less likely to occur in a camera monitored parking area due to the technology being able to identity the space being occupied.

Will Council use the data for parking enforcement?

Yes. One of the benefits of the smart parking technology is that it can help Council enforce time limits more efficiently. This helps encourage a turnover of parking spaces which is good for local businesses and means shoppers and visitors can find a park more easily.

I have a Resident Parking Permit, how will the smart parking trial affect this?

Holders of Resident Parking Permits will be able to continue parking in designated resident parking zones irrespective of whether they have sensors or not. The sensors may even help local residents find spaces more easily or be able to move vehicles closer to their premises when they become available.

I live nearby, can I object to the proposal?

Council welcomes feedback from everybody about the smart parking trial. Your feedback is really useful to help us understand how it works and how it can be improved. Should you have any feedback, please use our Contact Us page to let us know.

Last Updated: 25 October 2022
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