How Self Driving Cars Will Affect the Parking Industry3 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
Imagine your car dropping you off at the destination and then driving away on its own to find a parking lot. Think of how convenient it would be if you could summon the car to pick you up without the hassle of navigating parking lots. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to experience effortless commute, be it to your workplace, restaurant, or the shopping mall, without having to look for parking?
Welcome to the world of autonomous vehicles (AV). Futurists like Elon Musk predict these are a reality closer than we expect.
Autonomous Vehicles and the Transformation of Parking
There are three types of AVs – optical sensor-enabled vehicles such as Tesla’s cars, radar or non-optical sensor cars such as those developed by Google, and software-enabled vehicles. The degree to which they are automated and need human intervention is what differentiates these from each other.
AVs, also known as self-driving or driverless cars, is expected to have a truly transformative effect on the parking industry. Unlike human drivers, they do not space between them and other vehicles for the drivers to get out. Currently, human-driven cars need a separation of 8 to 9 feet between cars. With self-driving cars, this can be brought down to a few inches. Additionally, payments can be digitized in addition to the easy identification of parking space.
Do Self-Driving Cars Even Need Parking?
Some are of the view that self-driving cars need not park as they can stay on the road indefinitely. However, it is highly unlikely that the government would allow such an exploitation of the system – such a move would add to congestion on the roads, eroding the entire point of developing self-driving cars in the first place.
Further, some point to how ride-hailing apps like Uber would make private ownership and eventually parking, redundant. Again, the advent of AVs would not lead to the automatic dip in private car ownership. While such apps have transformed the sharing economy and pioneered the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS), people would still continue to buy cars. Hence, vehicles would still need parking solutions.
Why Self-Driving Cars Will Need Smart Parking?
Even though self-driving cars will be intelligent enough to drive around their own, they will still need to be told where to park. They would need to communicate with other software and systems that direct them to vacant spots. Smart parking solutions such as Get My Parking are well-positioned to aid AVs in decision-making about parking.
Already, Get My Parking has a presence in Europe where it is helping connected cars make parking decisions. Such software can transform the entire commute process by connecting AVs with other systems that further direct them to vacant parking lots. Smart parking solutions are thus central to enabling information sharing, identification of parking spots, and digital payment in the era of self-driving vehicles.
The organic relationship between the emergence of AVs and smart parking software has a lot to do with how both harness the power of real-time wireless technologies. This symbiotic relationship actualizes a spider web of a device driven by technologies such as AI and Predictive Analytics to aid decision making.
The parking industry is likely to be upended by the arrival of self-driving cars because they redefine the very concept of parking, aided by cutting-edge technological solutions.