Many postulate that with self-driving cars, cities will no longer need parking spaces. An argument frequently presented in favor of this view has been – ridesharing self-driving cars will drop us off to our destination, pick up another passenger, drop them off, and make way to their next stop.
But will driverless cars really spell the end for parking as we know it? Seems unlikely.
Self-driving cars need to park
It may be true that self-driving cars will not need on-street parking as they would mostly be on the move. But, one needs to understand that they, like any vehicle, would require regular refueling and maintenance which demands space for parking. Demand for off-street parking in garages and basements would then likely increase.
With an increase in garage utilization, on-street parking might diminish, freeing up the real estate for more productive use. Moreover, tech-enabled parking garages and refueling stations could deliver value-added services – charging stations, cashless payment, fleet management etc. The absence of humans in the case of these cars would mean that they could be parked close to each other. Thus, a parking lot could house more cars with self-driving vehicles.
Smart cars will need smart parking
With cars becoming smarter and autonomous, the way they park will also need a change. Traditional systems of parking wouldn’t be feasible for self-driving cars. With smart parking solutions that rest on connected devices, vehicles would be able to ‘talk’ to parking lots, moving into vacant spots with greater ease and speed. Smart parking solutions will thus be more necessary than ever.
What the future holds
When autonomous cars are here, they will need more intelligent parking solutions, as opposed to the view that they wouldn’t need parking at all. The self-driving technology would need to work in coordination with smart parking technology for efficient parking management and land usage in urban areas.
The takeaway is this – a tech-enabled technology like self-driving cars will need another tech-enabled solutions for optimal functioning. Smart parking will thus become central to the operation of driverless vehicles. Needless to say, parking is here to stay.