University of West England (UWE)

Location – Bristol, UK


One of the largest universities in the UK with over 30,000 students and 3,200 staff, UWE required improvements to its two campus car parks comprising 1,000 spaces, to make it more efficient for users. Improvements included the need for an AI space count solution along with the replacement of its existing VMS signage.

Solution and installation

Five AI count cameras were set up at the car park entrances and exits. Highlight also upgraded the VMS signs with highly visible LED VMS display inserts to provide useful space availability information for staff and students. Because of the distances across the car parks and lack of LAN connectivity, directional wireless links had to be installed to create full connectivity across the site. In the back end, UWE provided a VM PC to run the communication and sign software. A Django-based SSL (CA signed) web server application was installed to act as the secure conduit for monitoring and administering the system. For resilience, cameras run the AI software so, if for any reason the server goes offline, the cameras can function independently, without affecting the operation of the car park. The proprietary software lets the UWE team have a full live camera stream of the car park, with a live count shown at all times in the software window. In addition, it has the capability to send custom messages to the VMS signage in addition to the default FULL/SPACES indicator, including Car Park Closed/Lane Closure/Queue Caution and so on.


Taking just five days to be fully operational, the UWE car parks were functioning at a far greater degree of efficiency and accuracy than before. Students and staff can now see which spaces are available when they approach the VMS signage. UWE staff can monitor the car park through the back-office software, whilst the Highlight support team also has remote access. Highlight also conducts regular site visits to inspect the systems as part of its ongoing support.

“Highlight Parking were able to upgrade our car park counting system which was not operating correctly. Their team designed and installed a bespoke system to work with our existing display signs and monitored and honed the counts until they were accurate. We are extremely pleased with the system and will be using Highlight to expand the counting onto other areas of our estate in the near future.”
Robert Cox, Senior Operations Manager, Estates & Facilities, UWE Bristol

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