Digitally capturing parking data is essential for business owners to evaluate parking operations, improve customer experience, and generate higher revenue. Smart parking solutions are designed to do just that; smart parking apps like Get My Parking offer tools that help parking management companies analyze their data to make smart decisions based on historical trends. But why data in smart parking is so crucial? Let’s see why.
Importance of Data in Smart Parking
Aids in efficient management
Smart parking solutions make parking an efficient and hassle-free process through the generation and analysis of data. Historical occupancy data, especially during peak times and festivals, can equip parking lots to proactively handle incoming parking traffic. In fact, pairing past and real-time data can be the best way to manage even the highest volumes of traffic.
Helps identify violations
No parking lot is immune to violations. Smart parking solutions identify and locate violation hotspots (areas where violations are most likely to occur) through data collected over a period of time, drastically reducing the chances thereof. Accordingly, law enforcers can schedule patrols to curb such instances.
Occupancy stats may be collected to not only assess traffic volume in a particular parking lot but also to see how different lots are being used in different areas. It may be useful to execute an even distribution of traffic. Smart parking can help operators develop predictive models that estimate occupancy with accuracy, thus redirecting traffic to under-utilized parking lots.
Offers higher revenue potential
Parking data can be analyzed to reveal parking patterns, which can be used to adjust pricing during peak hours. Apart from generating higher revenue, such a strategy can also help in the optimal utilization of available spaces.
In Edmonton, Canada, an EPark system collects parking occupancy data for an analysis of parking patterns in different areas. Launched in 2015, EPark aims to put data to use for developing a predictive parking model with variable rates. Occupancy rate data is used to determine whether rate changes can balance the use of underutilized spaces.
The SFpark initiative in San Francisco was a dynamic pricing initiative whose success is now widely acknowledged. Launched in 2011, it installed sensors and smart meters for on-street parking, collecting occupancy rates and duration stats across the city. Parking prices were then adjusted based on the observed trends. This saw traditionally underutilized spaces getting used more often and a reduction in traffic congestion in high-demand areas. With an open data and source code approach, SFpark was able to encourage developers to create new parking tools for drivers.
Data is the cornerstone of smart parking
The more parking data is captured over time, the better business owners and city administrations can use it to make strategic decisions. Data clearly forms the cornerstone of smart parking solutions. Smart parking set up with sensors and software is required to collect this data. High quality, meaningful, and structured parking data can optimize planning and decision-making, benefitting all stakeholders. Clearly, it is data that makes smart parking ‘smart’.