February 7, 2019

Future of Smart Parking: the backbone of any smart city initiative

Future of Smart Parking: the backbone of any smart city initiative

The Problems of Urban Parking

        With elevated rate of car ownership, there is an increasing imbalance between parking supply and demand. Cruising, which occurs when drivers circle around nearby blocks in search of a place to park, is not only a daily inconvenience to drivers, but adds to traffic congestion, consumes unnecessary fuel, and emits extra pollution.

On the other hand, because of inaccurate forecast of parking needs, some parts of the city have large, off-street parking areas that are underutilized and are major sources of ineffective land use. These parking structures stretch the distance between buildings, making walking more difficult and driving more necessary, creating a vicious cycle.

With the idea of smart cities becoming increasingly popular, one of the first and most important steps of this initiative is to restructure our current ineffective parking systems.

Current Parking Systems: Benefits and Limitations

Parking Meter
    + Promote space turnover - help with customer traffic for businesses
    - High hardware and installation cost
    - Hassel for drivers- scouring for coins, worrying about running over time
    - Manual ticketing causes lack of proper enforcement
Pay Stations
    + More payment options
    - Subject to large-scale technical failures
    - Inconsistent directions cause confusion
In-Ground Sensors (already a smart parking initiative, but has drawbacks)
    + Easy collection of real-time occupancy data
    - Required for each parking spot
    - Installation requires pavement cut and land closures
    - Requires battery replacements

Smart Parking Explained

        Smart parking is a parking strategy that collects important parking information, and relays this information in the form of actionable data to different stakeholders. These technologies aim at building efficient and effective parking systems to alleviate the problems mentioned above.

Smart Parking systems provide both backend data analytics and frontend information display that benefit all stakeholders, including city planners, facility operators, business owners, and drivers.

  • For drivers, the ability to check real-time parking availabilities and locations allows for prior planning and greatly reduces the need for cruising.
  • Businesses can avoid lost sales due to parking inefficiencies, and ease in parking can contribute positively to customers’ overall shopping experience.
  • Facility operators can easily identify parking violations and predict parking trends.
  • Backend analytics over time help city planners understand trend in parking needs, and make more accurate forecasts for the future.

The Future of Stress-Free Parking - Video Analytics

        Some parking sensor providers, such as IPS Group, Nwave, ParkiFi, and Tinynode, offer both real-time backend and frontend information display. However, these parking sensors require installation for each parking space, and lack an important capability that takes smart parking to the next level – Licence Plate Recognition (LPR).

Video analytics by camera sensors not only captures information like occupancy level, turnover rate, and dwell time, but also allows for LPR. This ability provides significant assistance to parking personnel and convenience to drivers in many different ways. We have outlined below some of the new experiences this capability brings. by enabling automated regulation enforcements as well as identifying violations hotspots to increase parking compliance.

New Experiences
  1. Automated Enforcement
    Operators are able to view in real time the current status of every vehicle in the facility and are notified right away when violations occur. This notification includes both violation type and license plate information, eliminating the need and expense of on-site parking attendants.

  2. Real-Time Parking Availability
    The real-time availability of parking spaces can now be synched to a mobile app or website to inform drivers and allow for prior planning.

  3. Automatic Routing - To open space
    Drivers will be provided with the exact locations of open parking spaces and be able to select their desired parking spot. They will then be automatically routed to that specific location, reducing frustration and time spent cruising.

  4. Automatic Routing - To vehicle location
    License Plate Recognition allows vehicles to be uniquely identified, and stores data that links license plate with its physical location. This is especially helpful for drivers in large parking lots by routing them to the specific locations of their cars, providing a seamless start-to-finish parking experience.

What We Offer - Zensors Inc.

Increase Enforcement Revenue

Zensors gives up to the minute data on parking space occupancy, allowing you to streamline enforcement efforts by deploying officers to areas with the most unpaid cars.

Implement Uber-esque Surge Pricing

We sync with your parking app provider to do true demand-based pricing. If a neighborhood is experiencing a spike in demand, Zensors can detect it and push a real-time change in pricing to mobile parking applications.

Improve Ride Sharing

Track ride sharing pick up hotspots to help understand the impact on traffic and measures the effectiveness of policy.