A group of five final-year students from Temasek Polytechnic are trying to do away with parking coupons. If their mobile application, eParking, proves successful, it could eliminate the hassle of tearing out parking coupons.
The app allows drivers to pay for parking by buying eCoupons online, through their credit card or Paypal. Upon registering with the app, drivers will be given a car-specific QR code that they have to print out and place on their windscreen. This code can be reused for different parking sessions and locations.
Push notifications will alert the vehicle owner 15 minutes before time runs out and users can then choose to extend parking time by topping up money from their mobile phones.
Parking enforcement officers (PEOs) will be able to scan the codes to check if the eCoupon has expired. If so, they can send a parking ticket through the app. Drivers will also have the option of using the eParking website to pay their fines.
Group leader Nittayawan Charoenkharungrueang, 22, said the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has given them positive feedback about their app.
Mr Kelvin Lim, the polytechnic lecturer who is their project supervisor, added that the URA had also highlighted potential problems.
"For example, what if people try to extend the eCoupon after they see that it has expired, and a PEO wants to issue them an eSummons?" said Mr Lim.
Said Ms Nittayawan: "And so, the team came up with the solution of locking the eCoupon and preventing people from extending its duration after a PEO has scanned the QR code."
The eParking app is among 29 final-year projects by students from the polytechnic's School of Business' business information technology (Bit) course. The projects were showcased to the public yesterday.
"Bit aims to integrate business and technology," said course manager Benedict Fernandez.
"We encourage our students to always look for gaps in the market, then provide viable solutions to bridge these gaps."
A wide range of projects were showcased, including an app that helps the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS) connect with its volunteers.
"CPAS usually holds classes to teach volunteers about cerebral palsy. Our app will have online lessons, so volunteers can learn by themselves," explained Mr Lim Wen Jin, the project's team leader.
He added that the app will include a list of volunteer events so that registered volunteers will be able to sign up for them .
"CPAS says this will really help them... they are looking into implementing it in the future," he said.