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Why every car owner needs an IoT parking management system

PARKING: Any simplification of the process is warmly welcomed by motorists all over the country

AS TECHNOLOGY advances, companies are seeking more ways to better deal with the day-to-day challenges of the UK population and in doing so creating a reputation for being solution providers. One area where this has become extremely prominent is in car parking.

The British Parking Association were quoted in an article in The Independent as stating that it takes 5.9 minutes on average to find and look for a parking space in the UK with over 44 per cent of people stating the experience as stressful. Furthermore, 59 per cent of drivers reported being angry with other drivers not parking in bays correctly and taking up additional space.

As congestion is one of the biggest challenges to commuters today and car parking space especially in city and town centres is at a premium, any simplification of the process is warmly welcomed by motorists all over the country.

What Is IoT Parking?

IoT stands for the Internet of Things, meaning a number of devices that communicate with each other to transfer information and data. In terms of parking, this system is also known as “smart parking”. Smart parking uses sensors and cameras which are generally located in parking spots or next to them. The sensors are used to ascertain whether the parking spot is occupied or free, this is determined by the collection of data in real time.

The information gleaned is sent to a website or app. Many of these websites and apps also provide information such as the location of parking and prices giving drivers options and choices about where to park.

Advantages of smart parking for car parking owners

1. Cost Effective – This type of system offers an efficient and cost-effective way of managing and monitoring your parking. It requires little manpower, therefore saving on both labour and costs.

2. Customised systems depending on traffic flow – Whether you operate residential parking or parking in a city centre, an IoT system can be tailor-made to the type of traffic flow you encounter and the size of facility you have.

3. Time Saving – Traffic can be managed more easily especially when it comes to the flow of vehicles and frequency.

4. Profitable – The use of this type of advanced technologies, parking meters and systems will generate a higher rate of profitability.

5. Ease of Use – Parking management systems are easy to use for both the vehicle owner and the parking management company. Minimum training is required as the structure of this type of system is very straightforward.

6. Swift and Effective Maintenance – Maintenance of these types of systems is available 24/7 and the system can be accessed remotely. This also offers an immediate solution for technical issues or other problems which can be rectified swiftly with minimum loss of time and function. In a report by the BSA, recent advances in technology have shown significant improvement to the parking process for both motorists and parking management companies.

7. Secure – Most parking management systems are fully equipped to provide the best security. This gives added peace of mind to vehicle owners and controls entry and exit to unauthorised vehicles. This type of system can be used to manage any type of parking environment including those with multiple entry and exit points like shopping malls, hotels and hospitals. In addition, parking company employees have access to data in real time that can help identify parking violations, activity that is suspicious and recognition of vehicle registration.

8. Expansion Friendly – This type of technology can be integrated with other applications or expanded on very easily to grow with your parking facility or to add additional service aspects to better serve your vehicle owners over the long term.

9. Generate Additional Income – New opportunities for revenue can be sourced through tiered fee systems depending on parking bay location as one example.

Benefit to Vehicle Owners

There are many benefits to parking facility owners when investing in a parking management system however, the biggest benefit of all has to be the benefit to the vehicle owners using the parking facility. Here are some of the reasons why vehicle owners are likely to use a specific car parking facility if they operate an IoT parking system:

1. Parking that is optimised – Vehicle owners can find the most advantageous parking spot quickly and easily which saves them effort, resources and time. Spaces fill efficiently, increasing traffic flow and reducing congestion and waiting.

2. Improved experience for the user – The entire user experience becomes integrated from payment, selection of parking spot and timing.

3. Point of sale and payment integration – Regular users can avoid daily manual payments to parking meters with invoicing and account systems that can be accessed through an application on their phone. They can also give customer reviews. This avoids the use of pay and display parking machines as all vehicle information is logged and monitored through the application and management system.

4. Better service and brand image – This works both for the vehicle owner and the parking management company. Seamless parking, integrated systems, reduce traffic flow, additional safety and less maintenance delays and fault issue mean both drivers and parking business owners reap the benefits. Vehicle owners have a better perception of the parking management company through their enhanced parking experience and the positive brand recognition for the parking management company can only help to increase the number of vehicle owners using their facility which will impact their bottom line.

The Future

Over time, all parking management companies and councils will look to use IoT parking systems where pay and display parking machines and automatic parking machines are a thing of the past.

According to British Parking, over 24 million drivers find regulations and rules in relation to parking confusing so the introduction of more effective and functional methods should be most welcome.

Currently in the UK, millions of people use their smartphones to book taxis order pizzas, get directions and order thousands of other products and services, so why should parking be any different?

Car park owners should be well advised to embrace this technology and realise the true yield to them over time from the investment they will be required to make.

In addition, as we burn one million barrels of oil a day on average searching for parking, parking facility owners will be significantly contributing to reducing driving time and therefore these huge emissions and in so doing their bit to help reduce our environmental footprint.

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