According to a report by the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), about 30% of all traffic congestion is caused by vehicles trying to find a parking spot. This significantly increases vehicular emissions.
Studies indicate that drivers in the US waste 17 hours per year on average in search for parking. The additional fuel used due to this is the equivalent of 18.6 billion pounds of CO2 emissions annually. To put this into perspective, this is the same amount of emissions as that obtained in providing electricity to 1.25 million houses. All this for the pursuit of a parking spot.
Smart parking is the key to sustainable urban growth
To realize the mission of building smart cities, urban areas must start by solving the problem of parking. Sustainable growth in cities needs smart parking solutions that make it easier for commuters to easily find a place to park and help in reducing pollution. Smart parking systems use sensors and ticketing systems to gather occupancy data across multiple facilities and using it to direct drivers to vacant parking spaces and to reduce congestion on the streets.
In the past, extracting and collecting data from disparate platforms was a problem. But with the onslaught of the Internet of Things (IoT), this is no longer an issue as different components of the parking infrastructure become interconnected. With smart parking solutions, as fewer cars waste time in search for parking, emissions released into the environment are reduced, making way for sustainable, livable cities
Growing smart parking into a sustainable business
Smart parking apps integrate electronic payment systems that allow for cashless transactions and report generation. They can also interface with POS terminals at parking facilities and ultimately even replace them. Cashless payment systems also allow for improved efficiency and financial accountability. They reduce revenue leakage and lower the operating costs.
Local merchants can push offers on local shops through apps and bundle them with parking transactions for an additional source of revenue. In addition, car-oriented services such as valet, wash and maintenance, electric vehicle charging services may also be bundled with parking transactions, driving up occupancy in a facility.
In conclusion, smart parking enhances productivity in operations, lowers operating costs, and builds value for customers. With reduced waiting times, emissions released in the environment reduce, paving the way for a cleaner environment. To solve the problem of urban mobility in a sustainable fashion, cities will need to immediately start deploying smart parking solutions.