Current trends in parking

The need for parking apps

In this day and age most people can’t imagine a life without a smartphone anymore.  The need for parking apps is connected to the need for improved customer service. Now it’s possible to pay for parking with the use of an (online) application. But there are more ways to implement mobile applications in the parking process. For example, the driver can get real-time parking information through his mobile phone. Think about guidance to the nearest parking facility and real time occupancy- and pricing information. There is also the possibility to get a message directly sent to your mobile phone when your time on the meter is about to expire, plus an additional option to extend your parking time.

Demand for cashless payments

The days when you used to carry a bunch of change in your pocket in case you needed to feed the meter are long gone. Nowadays the customer expects multiple payment options – also when it comes to parking. The parking industry is moving from cash payment to e-payment. More parking operators allow credit card payments and online payments through mobile phones. In a 2013 survey among US parking professionals (conducted by the IPI) is the trend “demand for electronic (cashless) payment” chosen as the second leading trend.

Demand for energy-efficient, sustainable and green solutions

People are more focussed on energy efficiency and sustainable solutions. It’s not only better for the environment; it also saves costs in long term use. There are many different ways to make a parking facility more energy efficient. For example, if there is no one inside the facility, should the lights be on? No need for that, so you can use sensors that detect motion and automatically turn on the lights when someone enters. Same goes forparking kiosks, entry stations, and so on.

These are some sustainable and energy efficient solutions:

  • Power reduction with the use of motion detection sensors, timers, dimmers, photocell receptors, etc.
  • Energy-efficient lighting, LED lighting
  • Solar power
  • Guidance systems to reduce carbon emissions by increasing the traffic flow
  • Innovative waste management systems, recycling
  • The use of recycled building materials

The 2013 Emerging Trend Survey (conducted by the IPI) shows that most respondents (US parking professionals) believe that “guidance systems that enable drivers to find parking faster” and “energy-efficient lighting” has the greatest potential to improve sustainability in parking.

LEED certificate

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a voluntary, consensus-based and market-driven program that provides third-party verification of green buildings. In order to achieve a LEED certificate, a parking facility must earn at least 40 points on the LEED rating system scale that counts 110 points, and it must meet all of the LEED requirements. Many new buildings are built to the LEED standards.

LEED-certified buildings are designed to:

  • Lower operating costs and increase asset value
  • Reduce waste sent to landfills
  • Conserve energy and water
  • Be healthier and safer for occupants
  • Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
  • Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities

The need for electric vehicle charging stations

Governments are encouraging the use of electric vehicles and more people are starting to use either electric or hybrid cars. The number of electric vehicle drivers is expected to grow in the future. Therefor the need for electric vehicle charging points is growing. Some people are concerned that people won’t buy electric vehicles because there are too less public charging point and because there aren’t enough electric vehicles driving around, facilities won’t install electric vehicle charging points.

Parking access control

Due to new technologies, the expectations around access control have changed. An example is the implementation of License Plate Recognition systems that uses special cameras and software to identify license plates, capture tag images and turns this information into a data stream. LPR is used by many municipalities, airports, hospitals and other sectors for the access control of authorized vehicles. A 2013 survey under US parking professionals (conducted by the IPI) revealed that 59% of the respondents cited “more towards innovative technologies to improve parking access control and payment automation” as the number one trend that is having the greatest effect on the parking industry.