Six parking developments you cannot miss in 2021
Mobility has taken huge strides in the time of the pandemic, especially within the parking industry. There came a call for more safety measures in parking locations with touchless experiences, which enhanced the development of IoT-devices, LPR access systems, automated parking and alternative payment methods. Besides, there is an increased demand for EV-charging and the possibility to reserve an EV charging station.
Accurate data is becoming increasingly important and on-street parking data has been difficult to account for. Meanwhile, cities feel the need for this data stronger than ever before, as they are making a switch to becoming smarter and greener cities. Cities are lessening time spent on the road and to optimize parking which is already existing in off-street parking locations. There is a need to improve the city experience and the customer experience, which can be done by including parking as an integral part of Mobility as Service (MaaS) solutions.
All these calls were heard by existing and new parking related and Parking as a Service (PaaS) companies and interesting developments are on its way. In this article, you can find a selection of six innovative developments which are hot and happening in the parking business in 2021.
Up until recently, it was one of the toughest challenges to get accurate information on parking on the streets. Recently though, new developments have emerged with the aim to help local officials manage their curbside and parking issues via (solar) powered IoT cameras. These cameras are connected to capture images on the utilization of parking spaces and the curb with the goal of showing each and every available spot in a city. It is now possible for city officials to view real-time data and generate historical analytics, as well as an open API for cities, vendors, or third parties to integrate and improve existing solutions.
Another new solution surrounding accurate on street parking data is powerful sensor technology for on-street parking detection and management. Overhead sensors collect real-time parking data, which translates into real-time information and guidance for users through local digital signage or on mobile. Integrated systems can be especially suited to bigger parking lots, such as lots near offices, stadiums, cities and shopping centers.
Alternative and touchless payment methods
Many parking companies offer barrier gates, parking columns, tickets, Points of Sale (POS), LPR and automatic payment machines. In the last couple of years, more companies started offering payment options for parking via phone as well, to be able to offer convenient, fast and touch free payment of parking tickets. Customers can now, for example, pay their parking tickets via a QR code on their phone.
Another touchless payment method is paying via one of the parking platforms/apps. Drivers only have to go to the parking lot, start/stop the timer and complete the payment within a few clicks in the app. This is mostly used with on-street parking.
Alternatively, payment in advance via a parking platform connected to an LPR system can offer a similar touchless payment experience.
Parking and Blockchain
Blockchain companies are quite an interesting phenomenon and the first hints of them are showing up in the parking industry as some parking companies are starting to partner with known Blockchain companies. These types of partnerships give an early indication into the integrations and collaboration with blockchain companies and all the possibilities that come with it. As Blockchain is a specific way to store data more safely, it could, for example, be used in parking as a way to keep data more private.
Electric Vehicles (EV) charging stations
The EV-charging business is moving ahead and becoming full service providers in the field of electric mobility (e-mobility). In addition to the software solutions, parking companies offer specially developed charging stations that step up their game through the use of advanced technology such as radar sensors and tap payment.
Recent EV-developments revolve around making life easier for EV owners. Platforms are emerging which consist of booking features for EV drivers. Using apps, drivers can book charging stations at the most convenient time and location, as well as pay for services ahead of time. Making charging and parking with electric vehicles a lot easier.
Connecting PaaS and MaaS
Currently, there are many different MaaS (Mobility as a Service) and Parking as a Service or PaaS solutions. For users within cities, the number of solutions can be quite overwhelming. If there would beone combined solution to which all smaller solutions can connect, it can save users a lot of time and effort and make the entire mobility process within a city smoother. Such as solutions for all types of vehicles and a variety of travel options. Or think of all kinds of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) options like taxis, e-scooters, trains, bikes, boats and busses as well as in advance PaaS solutions. Luckily, different companies are starting to share their PaaS & MaaS solutions amongst each other to create a better rounded solution for all.
Automated parking access
Leading companies in access & visitor management, system control, monitoring and maintenance are putting a bigger emphasis on automated access and automated parking. Some developments involve IoT developments in combination with License Plate Recognition (LPR) which together create a faster and seamless access point to a garage.
Some smaller innovative companies are even making it possible to have completely automated parking. A small French company, for example, recently developed the world’s first outdoor valet parking robot, named Stan. Stan picks up vehicles at a drop off point and parks it for you at an outdoor parking spot. At this moment, Stan is only available as a pilot at a couple of airport locations and will send a text message when your vehicle is ready for pickup based on real-time flight information.
More parking solutions
In short, there are many interesting new parking developments to keep an eye on. Even though travel is a bit slow, parking is going fast! In case you want to hear more about the latest developments in parking and PaaS, do not miss out on this ON AIR episode taking place on the 22nd of June.