Parking chatbot

AI systems > Parking chatbot
Housing and environment


Parking chatbot


chatbot customer service parking

The parking chatbot is a customer service channel of city’s parking services. Service provides automated answers to the parking-related questions of city residents and visitors. The service is available at the city parking website of Helsinki.

The service aims to improve the availability and the user experience of digital parking support services and to increase the interactivity of the parking self-service. The service speeds up finding the right information to customer’s specific questions in comparison to searching the information from the websites. The service is also a means to explore and try out the potential of new technologies in parking services.

The service utilises natural language analysis to identify customer’s topic of interest-based on the search terms or phrases entered to the service. The service responds based on the trained rule-based discussion paths, and the open data connected to it, in accordance with the customer’s interest and consents to location information.

Link to service

Contact information

  • Department

  • Urban Environment Division
  • Contact team for inquiries

  • Kaija Kossila
  • External suppliers

  • Smartifik Oy
  • Contact email

  • Contact phone

  • 09 310 22111

More detailed information on the system

Here you can get acquainted with the information used by the system, the operating logic, and its governance in the areas that interest you.

DatasetsShow More Show Less

Key data sources utilised in the development and use of the system, their content and utilisation methods. The different data sources are separated by subheadings.

Question-answer pairs and thematic discussion paths

The data contains the topics covered by the service and the answers to them, as well as broader thematic discussion paths determined by the City of Helsinki’s parking specialists. The response database is built on the contents derived from the city’s resident and business parking web pages. The topics covered by the chatbot are constantly updated based on chat analytics on the themes service has not been able to address with its current content. Thematic discussion paths are maintained and further developed by experts from the City of Helsinki by using the user interface provided by Smartifik.

GPS location

The service utilises GPS location information with the user’s consent in order to respond to questions specific to the customer’s current location. If a customer asks a question related to their current location, for example, “Where is the nearest parking meter located?”, they are offered an option for GPS positioning. With the customer’s consent, the service collects the GPS coordinates of the device and provides a personalised response based on the coordinates. Location information is not stored in the service and is deleted after the chat session.

Conversation logs

The conversation logs contain the search terms entered by the user, as well as the options selected by them during the conversation. Search terms are used to identify customer’s question or topic of interest, and based on that, to provide related content and instructions during the conversation. Conversation logs are anonymised at the end of each chat session and stored in an anonymised form for further development of the service. Link to dataset

The City of Helsinki map service is a map portal that can be used to access the map and geographic information datasets of several departments. The portal can be used to locate buildings and other real estates, city plan maps and register information about locations. The portal gives access to many basic maps, for example, the guide map, the various versions of the real estate map, orthophotographs, and a large collection of historical maps and aerial photos. The parking bot utilises address book data, coordinate points, parking meter data, payment zone boundaries and the boundaries of resident parking areas from the service.

Language-specific data

Smartifik Oy’s language-specific data includes vocabularies, morphology rules, context rules and semantic rules used in the analysis of the customer’s search terms. Language-specific data and rules form a word processing method based on artificial intelligence and language technology designed and developed by Smartifik Oy. This method is utilised in the linguistic analysis of the conversation bot.

Data processingShow More Show Less

The operational logic of the automatic data processing and reasoning performed by the system and the models used.

Model architecture

The service utilises Smartifik Oy’s language technology, developed at the University of Oulu, to analyse the search terms written by the customer and to identify the topics of interest. In automated language processing, the search terms are tokenised and distributed to sentences by using language-specific rules. Semantic networks are used to study the structure of a sentence and to identify factors related to the meaning of it, such as subject, object, verb, etc. Based on the identified meaning and the context of the sentence, the intention is identified with the help of model sentences.

Once the intention has been identified, the service initiates a discussion path corresponding to the topic. It executes the rule-based measures defined in the question-answer pairs and discussion paths. At the end of the discussion path, the data entered to the service is anonymised and stored for discussion analytics used in service development. If the customer has activated the location functionality of the service, the location data will be deleted at the end of the chat session.

System architecture description


Non-discriminationShow More Show Less

Promotion and realisation of equality in the use of the service.

The service is currently only available in Finnish. The Swedish version of the service is being developed. The service provider is familiar with the accessibility requirements of public administration, and the solution will be designed and implemented in accordance with the respective requirements.

Human oversightShow More Show Less

Human oversight during the use of the service.

The service is maintained and controlled by Smartifik Oy. The service automatically identifies and compiles topics that it cannot answer. These are submitted to the City of Helsinki’s experts to develop the conversation paths of the service further.

Risk managementShow More Show Less

Risks related to the system and its use and their management methods.

The risks associated with the service are related to possible incorrect instructions given to the user. Incorrect advice could lead to a parking error, for example, and thus potentially cause financial damage to the customer. To manage the risk, the service’s discussion paths and the accuracy of the related information sources are monitored by city employees. Customer also has the opportunity to make a claim for a parking error fee due to possible incorrect information provided via the city’s digital service or by delivering it to the urban environment customer service by post, e-mail or in person.

The security risks associated with the service relate to potential denial of service attacks, and the service provider manages them with appropriate security safeguards.

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