The need for evolution and adaptation has never been as pressing. The reality of the pandemic has brought several changes to different sectors across the world.
The car parking industry is one such sector that the pandemic has hit. Before covid-19, there has been a pressing need for reforms and technological advancement in the parking industry.
However, the pandemic has further brought these issues into the light.
The fluctuation in the required number of parking spaces has always been a source of concern and frustration to major cities worldwide. While numerous parking lots sit vacant and idle for long periods during the day, infrastructures like housing, hospitals, schools, and recreational centers struggle to get space in the city.
It is a colossal waste of resources, and it could be better utilized. The trend of wasting valuable resources is not sustainable for the future, and therefore it is time to make intelligent decisions. Technology has come to solve many problems globally, and the use is on the rise in the parking industry. There are several technological trends on the rise that could determine the future of parking.
Parking assistance, automated parking lots, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are some of the most promising technologies for the future of parking.
Automated parking lots
The use of automation has risen in parking lots worldwide, and it has proven itself as an effective introduction to the improvement of efficiency in car parking. The process is all about the automated process of car parking using machinery.
When the vehicle enters the parking lot in automated parking lots, the lasers will scan it before a moving platform elevates it before transferring the vehicle to a parking space. The system functions similarly to an automated storage bracket, and it allows as much as four times the number of vehicles that a conventional parking lot will accommodate. The effective use of space is because the vehicle drivers exit the car before it is parked, eliminating the need to leave many spaces between the cars.
With automated parking systems, parking lots will become much smaller, or there will be less need for more parking lots as the available ones will be enough for the vehicles. Parking lots will take up more vertical space than horizontal space because machines park the cars rather than drivers.
The Internet of Things
The world has welcomed the Internet of Things (IoT), utilizing it in many ways. The Internet of Things means communication between devices online. The technology has been instrumental in many ways, making several processes easier and smoother. The parking industry is not left out of the benefits of IoT.
When a parking lot uses IoT in its system, drivers can see the parking space in real-time through an app service or a website. With this system, a driver will know if there is an available space to park the vehicle before getting to the parking site. You could liken the IoT system in parking lots to a refined version of the green and red light system already in use in several parking lots.
Studies have shown that using this system has helped reduce the average time drivers need to find a parking space, reducing the time by 43%. With this reduction in time required to find a parking space, there has been a decrease in vehicle volume of carbon emitted.
While the IoT has its many benefits on the environment, it also increases parking efficiency with more parking lots getting filled. Filling more parking lots is way better than leaving several parking lots unfilled. To this effect, cities can close some parking lots and use them for other infrastructures to develop the city.
Robotics and self-driving vehicles
With each passing year, more vehicles now have the self-parking technology fitted into them. These computer systems are in-built and can help you park your car automatically in any situation, either for parallel parking or a usual spot. These systems are simplified with each passing year and are becoming more affordable than before. If the trend continues, self-driving and self-parking vehicles could become the standard. If this technology continues to rise in popularity and become mainstream, it will offer more opportunities to review parking lots.
The self-parking technology increases parking efficiency, increasing the effective use of space in parking lots, as we have seen with the automated parking lot. Vehicles that are without this technology can still take advantage of parking sensors. Parking sensors enable the driver to reverse confidently and safely towards walls or other cars. Some vehicles already come with this sensor from the factory, while others may have to modify the car to get this feature.
With the development of technologies like the parking sensor, there is eager anticipation for self-driving and robotic cars. If and when robotic vehicles become mainstream, it will present an opportunity for cities to re-examine their landscape. With robotic vehicles, cars can move closely beside each other, making the required road mass and parking lots smaller. With this, more essential infrastructures will take up these vacated spaces.
With the increasing population of the world, there is more need for urban development. Parking lots take up large unutilized spaces; therefore, it only makes sense to find a way to make more efficient and effective use of these spaces.
What are ways to adapt to this trend?
With these trends speeding up more than ever, it is only a matter of time before more technological solutions arrive in the parking industry. Parking companies, managers, and planners need to match up with the pace of the current needs and realities. They are principal actors, and they must place themselves in a position to make good use of these technological trends.
Here are some of the ways that these trends will affect the parking industry:
Parking lot managers and companies could improve parking prices for the existing capacity rather than build new parking lots. The array of new payment solutions available has made parking payment easier. With this technology, managers can customize parking to off-peak and peak times, prime locations and hours of the day, etc.
Most people love to park close to their destination, and they want the perfect parking space. Parking managers and companies can charge more for prime parking locations while reducing the price for less competitive parking spaces. This way, vehicle drivers can adjust their behaviour by either paying higher or paying lower and walking the distance.
With the latest trends in parking, parking managers and companies can readjust pricing to blend with the reality of the day.
2. Reusable parking lots
One way to solve the infrastructure problem is through reusable parking lots. For example, a parking lot can transform into a sports area or community zone in off-peak hours. Although this approach might require a higher cost, it will improve space use. Future development can also occur within these spaces.
3. Increased collaborations
Several private companies have begun leveraging these new technological trends to generate more revenue. Availability of data and creation of parking booking apps are ways that these private companies have increased revenues in private garages.
However, cities are lagging in this regard as they have limited resources. If cities can collaborate with these private companies, they can benefit from the resources at the disposal of these private parking companies. Private parking companies can help the city design, build, finance, and operate new parking strategies. It is a win-win situation for everyone, as no one will feel left behind in the new parking trend.
4. Improved customer experience
One of the best things that new technological trends have done for parking managers and public agencies is the provision of data through feedback. As there is an increase in the amount of data available to parking lot owners and vehicle drivers, everyone can work together to develop a better customer experience.
5. Data and technological analytics
Latest IT infrastructures and data analytics can ensure end-to-end visibility and real-time tracking, improving the parking industry drastically. The major players in the industry will have to look at the technological capabilities already on the ground, such as telematics, mobile payments, IoT applications, blockchain, and crowdsourcing to improve operations and add value.
6. Location management
A critical element in parking, effective selection, and parking site location are essential for predicting and planning traffic arrangements and customer behaviour. The establishment of standard processes that only requires repetition is much better than having customized plans for parking locations. The parking companies can work with government agencies to establish a flexible regulatory prerequisite that changes parking demands. This way, planning costs will reduce. Parking companies should also have an insight into the changes that could occur in land usage to reduce the risk of having unneeded or underutilized facilities.
7. Good cost management
The parking industry requires heavy assets because of infrastructure and real-estate costs. However, new technological processes such as automation and robotics can help manage resources effectively and streamline the processes involved. With these technologies, there will be a quicker recoup of asset costs.
OPS-COM Parking and Security Platform
Parking management is part of the latest trends that have improved the parking industry. Parking management platforms will contribute majorly to shaping the industry’s future.
OPS-COM is a parking and security management platform with over 20 years of experience in providing parking solutions. Innovation, development, and a seamless user experience are core principles of OPS-COM.
The basic features such as online permit management and virtual payments are only a small part of what OPS-COM offers. They also offer advanced solutions like managing parking violations, resolving disputes, choosing between virtual or physical permits, among other features.
What gives OPS-COM the edge over its competitors is how they put the customer’s needs first. This is evident in every new installation as it is fully customizable to meet the client’s needs. If a client already has parking management technology installed on location and it is important to keep using it, the OPS-COM platform can be modified to integrate with it. If a client wants an internal reprimand process instead of a violation citation that results in a fine, the platform proffers a solution.
Switching to the OPS-COM is as seamless as it can get, as they design a working system and train parking administrators and patrol staff. They will not leave you dealing with customers by yourself as they offer top customer support with every install.
Here are some of the features to enjoy on the OPS-COM platform
Built-in mobile parking payment options
This feature allows users to add, remove, and update their payment methods online. This feature reduces the workload on the administrators.
Permits, violations, and incidents managed in one place
Parking users can choose and update the type of permit they have, track violations associated with the permit, and resolve incident disputes with linked evidence, all without standing in line or stepping foot in an office. If a user feels like a violation report has been made in error, they can appeal the decision online as well.
Print your hangtags, or choose a virtual permit
OPS-COM provides the option for parkers to use either a physical or virtual permit.
For the people who are using metered parking, this is another quick and easy option for contactless parking.
Complete customer database with email notifications
The parkers can view and manage their permits 24/7, but the administrators can communicate via a comprehensive database. If there is an issue with an account, the parking user will get an email letting them know.
Customizable permit types, lot definition, waiting lists, and pricing
Administrators can choose the parameters of the permits they offer, categorize certain lots for specific purposes, manage demand with waiting lists, and set their pricing for each permit.
License plate recognition technology
Getting the OPS-COM platform means that you will have everything you need for true contactless parking.
Full dispatch logging, alarm, and alert process
If there’s ever a security incident, OPS-COM helps security personnel keep accurate records during and after the event.
Handheld patrol units with LPR and GPS mapping, along with real-time data – Security personnel can easily track which vehicles are in which lots, ensuring that parkers are using their permits correctly.
Easy payment provider integration
OPS-COM is built to integrate seamlessly with whichever payment provider the client chooses.
Technical support for training, customizations, and integrations
The OPS-COM parking management platform is intuitive, but there’s still a learning curve for new users. With every install, OPS-COM provides expert assistance every step of the way.
Administrators learn their way around the database, and the patrol staff is taught how to log incidents and use the handheld patrol units. Any customizations are developed and tweaked until they work perfectly, and integrations are completed without second-guessing or complications.
More technologies are on the rise to further shape the future of parking, and it will be an essential factor in urban development.
For cities and parking management companies, adapting to the new reality of things and utilizing these technologies in providing parking solutions is the way forward. The future has begun in the parking industry, and we must all embrace it.