A Smart Parking System makes use of sensors or other technologies to determine the availability of parking lots in cities. This information can be shared with drivers, reducing the time spent on looking for a parking lot, and thus traffic congestion. Additionally, municipalities can get precise and updated information about the traffic situation, allowing them to align parking tariffs with transportation goals. The system can also let the customer pay and reserve a parking lot, guiding them to free spots, and even park the customer's car. .
The main goal of the Smart Parking System is to help people find a free parking lot without driving around the city searching. Thereby, it decreases the traffic and simultaneously the congestion within the city. Besides that, the solution achieves the benefits listed below. Whereas some benefits are likely to be fulfiled with a basic implementation of the solution, the fulfilment of the potential benefits depends on the functions implemented in a specific project.
Reducing GHG Emissions
Reducing local air pollution
Improving traffic management
Enhanced data collection
Functions help you to understand what the products can do for you and which ones will help you achieve your goals.
Each solution has at least one mandatory function, which is needed to achieve the basic purpose of the solution, and several additional functions, which are features that can be added to provide additional benefits.
products that control occupancy and length of stay in the parking lots
Implementation costs: 250,000 - 500,000 € for two parking garages and five open parking lots
The average city driver spends 6 to 14 minutes looking for a parking place, and in large cities, the time is 18 to 20 minutes. It is estimated that this time spent searching for a parking lot represents 30% of congestion on city streets. Parking fees are already part of the cities’ revenues. Implementing a Smart Parking System enables cities to control the traffic better, to apply differed tariffs according to different areas and hours, and to use per minute rates - instead of flat rates - thanks to new billing models.
(Shoup, 2007; Shoup, 2008; IBM, 2011)
Smart Parking offers various benefits for citizens as well as for the operator and the municipality. Depending on the details of the solution implemented, the main benefits can vary. The following graphic shows the operation of a Smart Parking System including the matching benefits the solution offers.
- Decreased Congestion: As free parking spots can be found easily, the need to drive around in a city to find a parking lot is obviated and the traffic congestions decrease
- Time-savings and less stress: Citizens can save time as they are guided to a free parking spot straight, that also reduces the level of stress when driving in cities
- Flexible pricing models: Due to exact monitoring of occupancy of parking spots, prices can be adapted easily. Current implementations show that on average that leads to decreased prices and increased utilization of paid parking spots. Overall that leads to an increased revenue for the operator.
- Increased personal efficiency: As all parking spots are monitored in a Smart Parking System there is less need for patrols and the capture-rate still increases
(Shoup, 2007; Shoup, 2008; IBM, 2011)
No big infrastructural development is required, as sensors and cameras can be installed in current city infrastructure.
A stable internet connection is required for sending and receiving information.
A few years ago, cities like Barcelona, Birmingham, Braunschweig, and Manchester have started to implement pilot projects for smart parking.
There is no European regulation regarding smart parking, as it is usually the city's responsibility to regulate parking. For example, some cities like Zurich and Hamburg, have limited the number of parking spaces in the city centre. Therefore, if a new parking place is built off-street, an on-street place should be eliminated. Cities have also regulations regarding the parking time, tariffs, parking zones, and users’ restrictions (Residents, disabled, etc.).
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