Creating a smart parking lot in your city is definitely a worthy initiative. This idea will be relevant regardless of whether the city has problems with parking spaces (and most large cities on the planet have), or whether you want to boost the innovative development of your city and solve this problem before it really becomes urgent.
In this article, we will talk about the essential things that are needed to build a parking space availability system that will be a convenient, profitable, and eco-friendly initiative at the same time.
Any urban project always begins with the preparation of the necessary documentation, obtaining the necessary permits, and certifications. In advanced countries with a low level of bureaucracy, a high level of control, and a clear course towards innovative development, this is unlikely to be a problem.
For example, the introduction of a smart parking system in China promises fewer difficulties in terms of the documentary and legal side of the issue, while obtaining the necessary permits in a country with a high level of corruption may take more time (and money) than the creation of the project itself.
Target Users Research
Despite all the advantages of a smart parking system, target user research is still necessary. Young drivers living or working in major cities and using smartphones on a daily basis are likely to be enthusiastic about this idea. At the same time, the concept of smart parking may not meet the expected admiration in small towns with a measured pace of life.
Properly Planned Parking Space
Smart parking is designed to improve the driving experience, but technology may not be very helpful if the parking space is not properly planned initially. In order for smart parking to be useful for city residents and profitable for the city budget, it is necessary to conduct analysis and research, determine which area of the city needs this solution the most, and either create parking spaces from scratch or modernize the existing space.
Properly Planned Budget
Also, the creation of a smart parking system is quite an expensive initiative, although it has good potential for a return on investment. This means that it is necessary to properly plan the budget, especially if the development is financed from the city treasury, and also to control the targeted distribution and use of the allocated funds.
Parking Management Server
The parking management server is the brain of the smart parking system, which receives, stores, and processes data on the availability of free parking spaces. It is also possible to use the predictive capabilities of artificial intelligence to forecast the congestion of a parking location at different time intervals based on historical data.
The next key link in the smart parking system is IoT-based sensors that work as data transmitters. Sensors read information about the absence or presence of a car at each of the parking spaces in real-time.
Mobile App for Drivers
Further, the information received from the sensors and processed on the server goes to the mobile application for drivers. Thus, drivers can plan their time and routes more rationally, knowing in advance whether there is a free parking space in the desired location. The mobile application must also contain functionality for paying for parking, depending on the duration of the parking space use.
With this technology, it is possible to further improve the driving and user experience. For example, using geo-fencing technology and Bluetooth, drivers can be notified of the presence or absence of parking spaces as soon as they cross a certain area.
Payment System and Control
Also, it is necessary to carefully consider the payment functionality and provide for all possible issues. For example, a driver can pay for two hours of parking, but use only 40 minutes, while the next driver will take a parking space for free. Therefore, it makes sense to introduce the function of recognizing not only the cars themselves but their numbers, which must be registered in the mobile application of each driver.
Such a system will be fair to all parking users and profitable for the city budget, but in this case, it is necessary to pay increased attention to data security.
Experienced Development Vendor
As you can see, developing a smart parking system is a complex task that requires compliance with both legal and technical standards, plus careful preliminary research. Therefore, it is better to entrust the creation of such a solution to a company that already had experience in the development of smart parking systems. In this case, hiring local developers is a more reasonable solution compared to outsourcing, since the system will need constant support.
Smart parking has great potential to improve urban infrastructure and driving experience, as well as reduce road congestion and emissions. Many cities have already implemented this practice quite successfully, so that smart parking could be one more example of how technology makes life better at the local level, automatically improving the global picture.