With high scores of vehicles being added onto roads each day, vehicular congestion is on an unsurprising rise. As available land area diminishes, parking demand is growing into an ugly beast that modern cities are having a hard time taming. Especially in busy centers, haphazard parking adds to commuters’ woes.
According to studies, approximately 5 billion of the world’s 8 billion strong population will live in urban areas by 2030. As managing cities will become challenging, building smart cities will become even more essential. As the world gets ready to build smart cities, it cannot ignore the importance of implementing a smart parking system. Not only will it ease parking woes, but proper parking planning will also go a long way in reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions, paving the way for smart cities to flourish.
Getting smart about parking
Data reveals that urban motorists spend about 20 minutes on the road looking for parking slots due to inefficient parking management. This is not just a waste of commuters’ time but also a loss of productivity and economic opportunity. Fuel gets wasted by gallons in the search of a parking slot. Such problems have no place in a smart city.
With integrated parking technology, commuters can identify parking spots before or as they enter a premise, knowing exactly where to park and thus saving fuel and time. Mobile solutions such as wayfinding apps, parking guidance systems to direct commuters to parking spaces, parking meters, and mobile payment apps are a smart investment for building cities of the future. Motorists can plan their trips according to the availability of parking space.
On-street parking digitization technology, such as that provided by the Get My Parking, to direct drivers to nearby available parking areas, will help curtail the number of vehicles plying the roads looking for parking bays. Such technology displays the real-time availability of parking spaces using geo-fencing and deep integration with cameras, sensors, parking meters, and mobile apps to gather and provide real-time parking information.
City municipal corporations and traffic police can accelerate their responsiveness by implementing an interconnected and intelligent transportation system for improved traffic management. Real-time data relayed to a control center with the help of parking sensors and video surveillance could help the traffic police monitor thefts, rule violations, traffic congestions, vehicles parked in restricted parking areas, etc. Such measures will lead to improved citizen compliance and contribute significantly to tackling the parking issue.
A formula for success
Municipalities must consider sharing of parking areas by multiple users, use of parking spaces throughout the day, and pricing the parking area appropriately as options to provide relief from the bane of inadequate parking. The architecture of a parking lot could also add value to a neighborhood. Building an intelligent parking ecosystem could generate more revenue for businesses and city administrations, for example, these spaces could be utilized for services such as electric vehicle charging by visitors.
Parking is deeply intertwined with almost every facet of a city – transportation, energy, waste etc. The current parking space predicament is a giant obstacle and needs an intelligent, integrated, and planned approach for the development of a sustainable urban ecosystem. After all, smart cities can’t thrive without equally smart parking.