Where2Park: An IoT Parking System; The Internet of Things: Privacy, Autonomy, and Corporate Dominance

Abbot, Gunther, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Norton, Peter, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Powell, Harry, EN-Elec/Computer Engr Dept, University of Virginia

The Internet of Things (IoT) connects the physical world to the Internet. How can the IoT affect human behavior?

How can the search for parking be made easier via the IoT? In downtown Charlottesville, parking is very limited. Visitors, locals, and businesses would be happier if every spot could be efficiently located and used. Where2Park is an ad hoc network of inexpensive, vehicle-detecting sensor nodes, allowing a user to easily find the nearest available parking spot. The current state-of-the-art in IoT parking technology uses a slower, less reliable, less flexible network protocol. Where2Park uses the Zigbee protocol for longer range, self healing mesh networks. The network connects to the cloud and streams parking information to the user. Barring slight issues, a functional prototype was developed successfully demonstrated.

How are governments and corporations affecting the privacy and autonomy of the public through the promotion of the Internet of Things? The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution promises advancements in nearly every corner of society: industry, infrastructure, healthcare, the human body, the home, and the environment. Its costs and consequences could have a similar impact. Privacy, already a concern in the Internet age, will become more important with the sea of data mined by ubiquitous embedded devices. Moreover, the power and influence of tech companies will increase. Cordcutters and some experts in the industry are wary. Corporations, their government regulators, and technocrats welcome the IoT for the benefits it will bring, and are receptive to the desire for privacy. However, they are not doing enough. The push for the IoT has limited users' personal freedoms, privacy, and ability to opt out. The unencumbered, unregulated embedding of the Internet into the physical world could have significant unintended consequences.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Internet of Things, IoT, Privacy, Big Data

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
Technical Advisor: Harry Powell
STS Advisor: Peter Norton
Technical Team Members: Sean Reihani, Nawar Wali, Cameron Davis

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