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  • James Noblitt

Parking Innovations - Part 1

There is nothing quite as frustrating as parking. Something that can be completely unpredictable and impossible to integrate into your estimated time of arrival which causes you to be late when you thought you had planned ahead. As technology integrates into every aspect of our lives, it would make sense that it would seep into the parking industry and begin to improve upon the frustrations that generally ensue. In a report this past Fall by Cory Rhodes, a reflection upon the National Parking Convention demonstrated the increasing rate that technology is being integrated in parking, both in improving the way to find a parking spot and through mobile pay.

There are two ways that finding a parking spot has gotten easier. Inrix has partnered with Waze to create a “next level” to driving directions. Inrix uses cloud based data to relay real time traffic information to many different companies, whereas Waze is a traffic-navigation app that uses the inputs of its users to create a real-time image of any traffic obstacles on the road. These two have paired to help improve the final step of navigation: parking. Automotive News states that “In an effort to extend in-car navigation to those final 19 feet of a trip, traffic data supplier Inrix has agreed to provide data for the mapping app Waze that will help drivers find a parking spot more quickly.”

Google leads the progress on the second way that parking has become easier with their latest innovation to include not only where the nearest parking area is to your destination, but also the difficulty in parking within that area. This new feature will be particularly helpful when navigating in a new or unfamiliar area.

As mentioned previously, mobile pay has also on the rise. Cory mentions that apps, such as PayByPhone, ParkMobile, and Passport have taken the front lines on this transition over to mobile pay and are “quickly becoming as common as meter payments were 10 years ago.”

The most futuristic sounding innovation described within this report is called Park Assist. This camera-based, smart sensor guidance system includes a variety of features and its main purpose is to guide drivers to the nearest open spot. One of the more interesting features is its ability to stream video through its dual cameras to Park Assist’s video management system, taking in any important information, such as license plate info through their License Plate Recognition (LPR) system. It also uses its camera capabilities to help guide the driver into their spot with ease, as well as using its LED lights to signify open spots throughout the parking garage. Park Assist mentions that this “M-4 smart-sensor camera (is their most advanced system yet… (and it) delivers unprecedented performance for superior detection and monitoring.

These diverse and ingenious parking innovations carry their own individual benefits and it can create even more benefits when integrating their different strengths together in a unique and imaginative way. The future of parking is becoming much more technological and smart-phone based, however, what comes next?

Stay tuned for our next blog where we will investigate the potential future of Smart Parking, as an integration of automated technology.

The Vark Team

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