M-Zone: A Smart City Infrastructure Solution

Philipp Kothe

12 November 2020

Employees commuting by car to their workplaces, the so-called individual traffic, causes environmental damage, as well as significant headache for multiple stakeholders in the real estate industry. Addressing the needs of real estate developers, property owners, tenants, commuters, as well as city planners, RAAY RE is creating together with Fetch.Ai, the Smart Parking solution, M-Zone, that helps to solve the problem. 

The Problem

1. Commercial Real Estate Project Developers
When planning sustainable office buildings, commercial real-estate developers are looking for ways to create innovative proposals. Smart parking solutions are an important aspect to design the sustainable cities of the future we want to live in. Only if enough parking options are provided, efficient traffic flows can be guaranteed. If parking possibilities don’t meet up demand, cars are circling, searching for parking spaces, and clogging up the streets. However, planning the optimal amount of parking space is not an easy task at all. No resources should be wasted on creating extensive parking capabilities, which are not required. Forecasting the optimal amount of required parking spaces is not easy because historic data, upon which predictions are based, aren’t digitally available. Taking home office trends into account, initiated by the current pandemic, forecasting will not get easier. Therefore, commercial real estate planners have no verifiable base to argue on with the city council.

2. City Councils
Individual traffic during peak hours creates a burden for the city governments. Since the traffic maximizes during peak hours, traffic jams are inevitable, skyrocketing congestion rates. In the long term, this creates a negative impact on the health of their citizens. Also, high traffic during peak hours reduces the life quality of a city – thus its overall attractiveness.

3. Tenants of Office Buildings
The individual traffic creates a suboptimal situation for the tenants of office space. Contracts on parking spaces are mainly fixed and not dynamically adjustable. Therefore, load balancing is not possible, which leads to underutilization of rented parking space for individual tenants, and not enough spaces for others.

4. Employees
Individual traffic turns out as an issue for employees, who work in inner-city office buildings. Travelling to work in their cars during peak hours is time costly and can be a stressful experience. When they then arrive at their office building and all places are already taken, stress is inevitable.


The Solution – Smart Parking

With our M-Zone project, we are offering a smart parking solution for the real estate industry. The use of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology allows for steering the behavior of commuters in an optimal way for all stakeholders. M-Zone allows the automated and smart incentivization of drivers, who work in commercial real estate buildings, to choose other means of transportation instead of using their cars. By incentivizing the employees with our M-Zone solution, problems of the above-stated stakeholders of the real estate industry can be solved effectively.

M-Zone offers an innovative tool to decrease the CO2 footprint of real estate developers’ projects, by reducing the individual traffic to work. M-Zone allows real estate developers to plan optimal parking solutions upon historic data of installed M-Zone systems. This allows not only to build better commercial buildings but grants an excellent base to argue with the responsible authority.

For city councils, M-Zone provides a way to reduce traffic jams and congestion rates during peak hours by steering the behavior of employees working in offices through incentives. This increases the life quality of cities and their overall attractiveness.

M-Zone allows tenants of commercial real estate buildings to dynamically rent parking space to and from other tenants and the building owner. This results in optimal resource utilization due to a dynamic pricing mechanism.

M-Zone rewards employees for not using their cars to commute work. Earning incentives make alternative mobility offerings that are healthier and more sustainable, e.g. taking the bike, even more attractive. 


The “Magic Sauce” 

At this point you probably ask yourself, what is M-Zone and how does it work to solve the problems caused by individual traffic and parking?  As stated, we will use Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology to automatically incentivize employees to not choose their car to go to the office.

The system consists of three crucial components:

1. Fetch.ai’s Autonomous Economic Agents (AEAs)
2. Fetch.ai’s fast and efficient Smart Leger
3. Datarella’s user-friendly and intuitive mobile wallet application


Fetch.ai’s Autonomous Economic Agents (AEAs)

M-Zone makes use of software entities, which are developed according to Fetch.ai’s agent framework. These commutable units have distinct behaviors and skills, which allow them not only to react autonomously on incoming messages but also to initiate activities themself to achieve their set goal.
The M-Zone project makes use of Fetch.Ai’s Autonomous Economics Agents in two cases:

1. Car Park Agents
Car Park Agents are installed in video cameras of parking facilities. These agents are  monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic and are capable of detecting and registering license plates using computer vision and artificial neural networks. Car Park Agents of various parking spaces can communicate with each other, to call information on the current utilization of other facilities.

2. Reward Agent
The Reward Agent collects all the data points on the current utilization from Car Park Agents. Upon this date, the Reward Agent calculates rewards, which should be paid out to wallets of cars, not registered as parked – thus, employees, which were not using their car to go to work. Also, the Reward Agent can decide to reward for parking on less-used facilities. The number of tokens, which is rewarded per interval depends on the current utilization of the available parking spaces.


Fetch.ai’s Smart Ledger

Traditional payment methods, like PayPal, credit card, or bank transfers are not suitable for micropayments. Also, most blockchain networks, e.g.  Bitcoin or (Public) Ethereum are too slow and expensive to be used as a payment infrastructure. To reward employees with tokens in their wallets, a fast and efficient ledger is required. Fetch.ai’s Smart Ledger offers these properties. With up to 30.000 transactions per second and marginally low transaction costs, it is a perfect fit for constantly incentivizing employees with reward tokens.


Datarella’s Mobile Wallet

Incentivized employees need to have a way to manage their received rewards. Here, Datarella’s Mobile Wallet comes into play, which has been already extensively tested and been used for employee incentivization from various companies. One popular feature of the wallet is Coins for Steps that rewards users for walking a certain amount of steps per day. Therefore, the M-Zone Smart Parking rewards scheme finds a perfect home in Datarella’s mobile wallet application, enabling users to receive, hold, and send their rewards.