Connected drivers, vehicles and car parks
The parking market has historically seen little new technology since the introduction of the pay and display machine in the 1930’s. Now, nearly a century later, the future of parking is finally changing, facilitated by the internet and the adoption of smart technology by both motorists and car manufacturers.
Cars, their owners and the places they want to park are now finding each other – through internet search engines, data aggregators and pre-payment or pre-booking apps. Motorists will soon no longer just drive to the general area in which they want to find a parking space and hope to find one; this is not how it’s done for the huge number of drivers who use smartphones, or whose car is connected to the internet. They will be able to call up the area in which they want to park via their in-car displays and click on the location that is the best value or most convenient and then click through to book and pay for parking. On arrival at the car park entrance, they will gain access without having to take a ticket and leave without having to wait in line at payment stations to pay with cash.
Future of parking
The connected minority will become the connected majority as it is estimated that 50 per cent of new cars sold in 2017 will be connected cars and that by 2025 it will be 100 per cent.
Car park operators should seek to adopt this connectivity with open arms as it will quite simply drive customers to their car parks! Encouraging efficient journeys also has wider benefits, such as reducing travel times, congestion and pollution that is often created as motorists search for available parking. Connected parking may currently seem only useful in larger urban areas or areas with high level of parking demand but as motorists become more in tune with the benefits of connected driving the more it will be adopted for a quick trip to the shops or hospital visit and not just a visit to the city or airport.
Driving with a smile
The connected driver will be the one with a smile, looking forward to what they are going to do at the end of their journey rather than worry about where they are going to park.
Written by Richard Ofield of Park Consult, a UK leading commercial car parking consultancy and partner to the People Place & Parking Process, a multi-level review of parking provision in town centres.
This is the first in a series of guest blogs exploring the future of parking and the factors that are set to drive change in the car parking market and how it relates to places, including also: electric vehicles; autonomous vehicles; payment technology; societal changes; planning and legislation changes.
Find out more about “can smart travel tackle town traffic?”
Learn how to find out how whether current parking problems are real or perceived in your town centre from our blog on how “research clears-up parking problems” .