How long did it take you to park today?  How often have you spent an age slowly scouring a multi storey car park for a space, only to find there are none?  Smart Parking could soon make these, and other parking-related issues, a thing of the past.

The rise of the IoT means more urban areas are adopting Smart City technology to make life easier, greener and more efficient for their inhabitants.  Through connected technology including sensors, smart cameras, and data-driven IoT applications, city planners can take advantage of more effective and eco-friendly traffic solutions to improve urban spaces. Embracing Smart Parking is one way cities are working to achieve this.

Smart Parking?

We’re not talking about a well-executed parallel park.  Put simply, Smart Parking is an approach which combines technology and knowledge to achieve faster, easier and safer parking of vehicles.   

But how?

By using a combination of physical tech and software; in-ground sensors, cameras and counting sensors, all of which can be embedded in or near parking spaces.  Real time data is collected and shared automatically with drivers via apps or websites. These can then provide various parking options such as where spaces are available, the cost of parking at different locations, what shops are in the vicinity and so on.

What are the benefits?

There are more than you might think!

Pollution reduction – fewer wasted hours spent behind the wheel searching for spaces or queueing to get into a car park means lower fuel consumption and fewer emissions.  

Cost saving – Apps that tell you about the cheapest parking options or even offer retail discount vouchers for certain locations.

Time saving – Manage your time better; apps can suggest alternate routes or options in the case of congestion or road traffic issues.  Ensure the availability of a parking space or even reserve one ahead of time. Integrated Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) solutions incorporate ticket matching, payment and pre booking to make the parking experience quick and easy for drivers. 

Safety – Fewer cars queueing to access parking and drivers paying more attention to the road ahead rather than looking for parking spaces will make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.  People who are worried about parking in certain locations at night will be able to choose where they park ahead of time.

Space saving – Car spaces will be used more effectively and free spaces will be filled more quickly and often.

Benefiting smart cities – Data analysis will power decision making and city planning, helping answer questions such as how many car parks are needed in a city? Where are the highest demands for spaces?  How many spaces are required in each locality?

Stress reduction – No more parking anxiety.  You know you have a space waiting for you so you can enjoy your journey, stress-free.

As our world develops, technology allows us to improve and enhance our lives.  Smart Parking will go hand in hand with autonomous vehicles. An app will allow us to call a car or pod to our location when we need one, and inbuilt smart parking technology will take care of the car once we have finished with it. In the future, parking will just be one less thing to think about – circling for hours will become a distant memory. 

Coming soon…

Smart Traffic – improving safety and efficiency on the roads

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