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How data makes parking smarter than ever
William Pao, a&s International 2019/2/14

Needless to say, parking is a major source of headache for drivers, and this is especially the case in an urban setting. That’s why municipal administrators are increasingly turning to smart parking solutions. In this regard, parking sensors and the data they generate play a major role.Needless to say, parking is a major source of headache for drivers, and this is especially the case in an urban setting. That’s why municipal administrators are increasingly turning to smart parking solutions. In this regard, parking sensors and the data they generate play a major role.
 
It’s evident that municipalities across the globe are now focusing on smart city initiatives, of which intelligent transportation and smart parking are an important part. In particular, smart parking solutions help address vital issues facing city operators. According to a blog post by Quantela, 30 percent of urban traffic is caused by people circling in search of parking, while 950,000 miles are driven in a 15-block area in Los Angeles every year by drivers looking for parking, resulting in added emissions and fuel consumption. With smart parking, there would be 43 percent less time spent on driving in cities and a reduction of 10 percent in congestion levels, the post said.
 
“Now the basic question that arises is – is there really a need for smart parking? And the answer is yes, definitely,” the post said. “The search for parking in busy urban centers is frustrating for the driver and it certainly intensifies congestion on the roads, which further leads to an increase in pollution from circling cars. All this amounts to a lot of wastage of fuel and investment and money.”
 
In fact, smart parking offers benefits for citizens and cities alike,and the post corroborated that. “The citizens can search for parking spaces based on point of interest or preferences in advance via a mobile app, can book the space and can also make the payments in advance,” it said. “Cities on the other hand lower vehicle miles traveled and carbon emissions improving the environment. By using this common infrastructure, cities can reduce the cost and service fees associated with traditional parking deployments using existing parking structures in malls or public parking lots, for instance, to offset street parking shortages.”
 
Indeed, demands in smart parking are picking up. According to a recent report published by Allied Market Research, the global smart parking was valued at US$5 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $11.6 billion by 2025, registering a compound annual growth rate of 11.2 percent from 2018 to 2025.
 

The role of data

 
According to the Quantela post, parking sensors and the data they generate play a significant role in smart parking solutions. “The data gathered from parking sensors can not only enable real-time wayfinding but can also be used for predictive analytics, like the prediction of parking for the next few days. And once the equation of prediction is brought in, the scope becomes unlimited,” it said.
 
The data can help pre-determine the optimized price of a parking spot, it added. “A bit of cross-vertical data added to it can really make it advance and smart. Imagine the power of a solution that can predict the parking and the price of a parking spot not just based on the old data but also, according to the weather conditions, road conditions, nearby events or just by traffic intensity,” the post said.
 
According to the post, the next step in smart parking that all the experts in the industry are pondering upon is can smart parking be done without deploying sensors. “That would lower the cost spent on infrastructure. In fact, there are many solutions as well which are being considered like monitoring the parking via cameras. These cameras can also be used for traffic and safety and security purpose. So, it will be a shared cost between various verticals,” it said.

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Messe Frankfurt New Era Business Media Ltd. All rights reserved. 2019/11/19 print out