The Future of Smart Parking in a Post-COVID World

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3Q 2021 | IN-6266

As the world returns to a sense of normality, in a near post-COVID world, smart parking solutions will be highly beneficial with the reopening of society. Public transit can be considered a method of transport that can become overcrowded and also be considered potentially a more unhygienic method of travel. Due to this, it is likely that the use of personal vehicles will soar, as the UK announced that new car sales rose over 3000% this year in comparison to last year in this midst of the lockdowns.

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Fighting the Urge to Abandon the Vehicle


Smart parking solutions make it considerably easier for the end user when navigating large car parks. After any length of journey, it can often be a stressful ordeal trying to find vacant parking spaces, especially with the variety of different sized vehicles—smaller vehicles are often able to get completely tucked into their parking space, leading to those searching for a space believing that there is a space available but being let down under the discovery of one parked already. Vendors such as Libelium, P Smart Parking, and Cleverciti are smart parking solution providers that help tackle the task of parking for the end user of the car park as well as those in charge of managing the car park itself.

Business and Consumer Benefits


Smart parking solutions are Internet of Things (IoT) based systems that send data regarding free and occupied parking spots via web/mobile applications, using a mixture of sensors and microcontrollers. There are a variety of approaches for smart parking that include mobile based applications, lighting systems, and smart counting systems.

The ultimate aim of smart parking solutions is to fully integrate all components including parking, guidance, and payment, as well as analytics on the use of the car park itself. Through the use of sensors, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems, and mobile applications, these vendors are able to provide a completely end-to-end solution for car park management, enabling them to gain actionable insights on how their car park is being used with data including peak usage times of the car park and average time of use.

Personal Vehicles Trumping Public Transport


Ultimately, smart parking solutions are going to make parking a lot easier to do for the consumer, but also a lot easier to manage for the car park management team. The ability for the consumer to know where available parking spaces are located within the car park, be that by the use of vehicle sensing sensors and a lighting system or by a mobile application, will encourage the user to use the same car park every time they need to, instead of competing car parks that do not offer the ability to show available spaces and the capacity of the car park. This is very advantageous for car park management who wish to ensure their car parks are being utilized to their maximum capacity.

Whilst the world is returning to normality, there is still a level of anxiety regarding getting ill and keeping loved ones safe from COVID-19, especially those considered to be more vulnerable. The use of personal vehicles over public transport and shared mobility offers the user a lesser chance of potentially catching COVID, as they will not be mixing with other members of the public for the length of their journey. Though they may be doing so at their destination, it will be easier to avoid contact with other members of the public in larger spaces in comparison to smaller compact public transport vehicles. With this in mind, more personal vehicles being used will require more vehicles to be parked. During peak seasons, this will mean that car parks will become busier, and therefore parking your vehicle will be considered more of a task without the help of smart parking solutions.