As with any industry, technology is changing the way we do things. For transportation and car parking, new developments and new technologies are set to revolutionise how we travel and use car parks.
We take a quick look at the top technologies – current and future – that could have a big role to play in car park management
- Paying by phone
Similarly, paying by phone – via apps or phone numbers – is becoming the preferred way for car park users to pay for their parking charges.
It reduces the need to have machines on site when coupled with ANPR cameras and minimises requirements for car park attendants, freeing up staff time for other duties.
- Online payments
Technology has also allowed us to improve and speed-up the process of parking charge notices. We can use clever automated number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to identify any unauthorised use or overstays, and directly access the DVLA database.
PCN’s can then be despatched automatically, and those who receive the notices can pay quickly and easily online. They don’t have to worry about postage or phone calls – they can just log-on and pay – before any PCN costs may increase.
- Smartphone apps for PCNS
On the subject of PCN’s technology could also see an end to the yellow notices taped to car windshields. With our ANPR technology, we don’t need to issue physical PCNs, but in other areas, civil enforcement officers still need to write out a parking charge notice on-site.
This can lead to confrontations and altercations, so companies like ZZPS are developing smartphone apps for officers to simply capture details of an infraction which then can be processed remotely.
- Electric cars
More and more of us are switching to electric cars, but this poses an issue for car parking infrastructure. Car park owners will face increasing demand to install electric charging points so drivers can recharge their cars on site.
There is also the question of whether this electricity will be provided free by local authorities or businesses, or if car park users should pay for this – and how that will be managed.
Electric car parking spaces brings the additional challenge of unauthorised use too. Car parks will need to be managed effectively in order to ensure these spaces remain open and used by electric car owners only – and not users who have traditional petrol or diesel cars.
- Real time parking availability
Some newer car park installations are already using real-time parking availability, electric sensors and digital display boards to indicate exactly how many spaces are free – and where they are
Green arrows above individual spaces makes it a lot easier for drivers to identify open spots and park quickly – saving both time and wasted fuel.
But digital displays are costly and difficult to install. Future developments could see a mass roll-out of electric sensors, linked across cities and integrated with car navigation systems.
Imagine being able to see on your sat nav exactly where spaces are available. Drivers could possibly then reserve spaces and pay in advance. It would make it easier than ever to drive into a city and find a parking space – but if would also bring more car park management challenges to prevent misuse.
The technology could also be used to clearly indicate where drivers cannot park. Gone would be the appeals of “I didn’t know I couldn’t park there” or “there were no signs”. Your car computer could tell you specifically if parking is prohibited. If you chose to ignore it, you’d face the consequences.
- Driverless cars
Finally, perhaps the biggest change that could shake up transportation and car park usage is driverless cars.
Developments are well underway in this field, and autonomous valet parking is already being tested and supported by government funding.
In the future, drivers could stop outside a multi-storey car park, get out, and let their cars park themselves.
The potential for this is huge, like more car parking spaces in smaller areas, but there are undoubtedly lots of hurdles to overcome.
In the long-term future, driverless cars may mean that car parking spaces are no longer needed – as people will simply send their cars home until they are ready to be picked up. But for shorter journeys – and those who won’t want to wait – we think there will always be a need for car parks and efficient car park management.
Want to find out more about how you can integrate technology into your car parking management systems? Get in touch and arrange a chat.