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Intelligent transportation technology, including connected parking meters and sensors, has the potential to increase efficiency and make cities more attractive places to live and work.
Fremont, CA: Many people have experienced the frustration of having to circle the block or wander through a parking lot in search of the coveted spot. Parking challenges, however, can have real consequences for local citizens, businesses, and governments.
In order to improve the quality of life in cities, public officials are looking for sustainable parking solutions. In fact, 42 percent of respondents in an International Parking Institute survey said smart parking systems were one of the industry's top emerging trends.
Intelligent transportation technology, including connected parking meters and sensors, has the potential to increase efficiency and make cities more attractive places to live and work. The technology is ready for implementation today, but the key to innovative solutions is an integrated platform that combines different devices and data streams to enable real-time decision-making.
Smart Parking: How Does It Work?
In a typical downtown area, 30 percent of traffic consists of cars looking for a parking space. This leads to congestion, delays for other drivers, and inefficiency as hard-to-find spaces go unused.
In-ground sensors or mounted cameras enable smart parking solutions to determine which parking spots are occupied and available, and dynamically route traffic into these spots (and off the road). The Internet of Things (IoT) allows these devices to communicate with one another and send data back to a central platform. Real-time parking maps are created by combining data from different sensors.
To find open parking spaces, drivers can easily access this map through an application on their mobile phones. In addition, law enforcement and parking control officers can benefit from smart parking data, which allows them to better monitor traffic and to locate parking violations faster.
Using the data platform, parking control officers could identify and remove these obstacles before they caused further problems.
The real benefit of smart parking technology, however, is its ability to drive innovation. Using historical parking and traffic data, city officials can identify ways to reduce congestion and fill empty spaces. In order to maximize resources, decision-makers can adjust parking rates and maximum parking times daily or hourly.
The secondary benefits of smart parking
Sensors go beyond financial and logistic advantages, since the data collected by smart parking sensors can help cities become more sustainable. A car that is able to find a parking spot quickly spends less time driving around. As a result, pollution and its associated health conditions can be reduced, making downtown more livable. Sensors can also monitor environmental conditions like temperature and noise levels - information that can be used to make cities even better.
Increased revenue generated from smart parking apps and parking tickets could be used to improve infrastructure and support other smart city initiatives, such as city-wide communication through screens that broadcast emergency alerts and local announcements.
Public officials and analysts can examine relevant city data in one place by using a smart, connected platform to manage smart parking solutions. Access to this information can be used to inform policy decisions and improve the quality of life for all citizens.