How smart parking is tackling China’s parking crisis

According to data released by Zhiyan Consulting Network, the number of car ownership in China is expected to reach 280 million by 2020 and 360 million by 2025. By 2025, parking demand will reach 600 million. Currently only 250 million parking spaces exist. Although smart parking can significantly increase utilisation rate of existing parking spaces, it will not be able to resolve the fundamental issue – insufficient parking spaces for increasing numbers of cars. There is also a strong uneven distribution of those parking spaces. On average first and second tier cities have 0.8 parking spaces available per car, with the availability in small and medium-sized city dropping as low as 0.5 parking spaces per car. Furthermore, simply finding a parking space where it is needed is nearly impossible. Parking in those spaces can also be difficult for novice drivers, with many being extremely small. Once a parking space is found, drivers are faced with fees that are not transparent and very high. Inefficient parking also significantly impacts traffic flow. Statistics show that 30% of traffic congestion problems are caused by parking difficulties, and 48% of vehicles need to wait in line when entering and leaving the parking lot. With the number of cars on China’s roads steadily increasing, parking is becoming a top priority.

Smart parking is becoming the “new favourite” industry

The commercial value of the parking industry is enormous. China has an estimated parking gap of 60 million. The China Industrial Research Institute predicts that the smart parking industry will reach a market size of RMB 10 trillion in the future. In addition, there are data showing that the market size of smart parking in the first half of 2018 has exceeded 10 billion globally. Currently the smart parking industry has a scale of USD 26 billion, growing at a rate of 18%. Work on smart parking systems started in early 2014. Although the market reached a global scale of 10 billion, the system has not been applied on a large scale. In China coverage currently reaches only around 7%. The reason that smart parking is not developing as fast as initially hoped for is because smart parking is not yet smart enough. The industry is currently highly fragmented with 38 different enterprises developing systems independent from each other. Currently no public data sharing platform exists. Furthermore, developing the necessary infrastructure is incurring high costs. Smart parking requires the use of wireless communication technology, mobile technology, GPS positioning technology, etc. In addition, engineering integration costs are high. 

Intelligent parking solutions

Intelligent parking solutions are key to utilising parking spaces efficiently. According to research conducted by the Shanghai Communications Bureau, parking lot vacancy rates in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen combined reached as high as 44.6% in 2015. By incorporating cloud computing, big data and IoT technologies, real-time data for car parks, parking spaces, real-time distribution and operation status can be obtained.