Does Contactless Parking Mean the End of Human Touch?

Contactless technology may be on the rise, but the human touch is still possible.

Over the past few years, contactless solutions have gained popularity in the parking industry. From barrierless entry and exit to contactless payment, there are a whole host of products out there to support a touchless parking experience. And, with the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for touch-free solutions has gathered speed. But, will a lack of physical interaction bring an end to the human touch? Our parking experts share their thoughts on how the ability to provide excellent customer service may be greater than ever before.

Steve Gorski, CEO of DESIGNA USA

Headshot of Steve Gorski“The parking industry has been evolving and new technology has been driving the digitalization of the industry prior to Covid-19. The rise in contactless parking recently is certainly a reaction to the Covid-19 situation, but also the continuing digital transformation of the parking industry. We will see more and more advancements in technology, which will improve parking operations that, among other developments, will eventually lead to the end of the human touch in parking.”

Headshot of Laurens EckleboomLaurens Eckelboom, CRO at ParkHub

“The rise in contactless parking is, from my perspective, not the end of the human touch but actually the beginning of more. With the rise of contactless parking, we start the beginning of a new era of customer service, an era where safety, customer confidence, and customer wellbeing, staff and employees are a clear priority for businesses and society in general. And in that sense, technology is not replacing the human touch, I think it is refining and empowering humans to provide exemplary service with all the means available to us, whether that is cashless payments, touchless access credentials, or cloud-driven data that helps us to create a more seamless and contactless experience.”

Headshot of Christopher ArcherChristopher Archer, President of Associated Time

“Personally, I do not believe that the rise in contactless parking signals the end of the human touch, but rather changes the dynamic on how we utilize those individuals, much like it was from the transition from cashier-paid parking into self-paid parking, those individuals now provide better customer service and support and become ambassadors for your parking garage or facility. That will still be a key component moving forward, as everyone looks to provide the most customer-friendly parking experience possible.”

Headshot of Gordon DeedsGordon Deeds, Inside Sales Manager at ParkMobile

“Covid-19 gave further rise to contactless parking payment solutions. But this is a direction that we have been heading in as an industry for some time. This applies not only to parking but to all major consumer-facing industries, whether you’re checking into a flight, scanning a check into a bank account, or paying for your zone parking. You’re using your phone because it’s easier, it’s familiar, it’s frictionless, and it’s a better overall user experience. As we continue to innovate and introduce more technology in the parking industry we will continue to move towards a more and more contactless solution.”

Headshot of Brian WolffBrian Wolff, President and CEO of Parker Technology

“To the contrary, I believe that the rise in contactless parking will actually put more importance on the human touch because we know that as the amount of technology that humans must interact with increases, the rate of failure of humans in front of that technology also increases. And so the only thing that can help a confused parking customer is another human who understands context and can help them through the transaction.”

Headshot of Jason YuJason Yu, Business Innovation Sales Specialist at Parkxper

“With the rise of contactless parking, drivers are now used to the whole parking process of not needing to touch anything. From entering the lot with the LPR system to the payment system, human touch has evolved from physically touching the parking payment system to the mobile phone. Payment can be made using a mobile app, which is another way to increase convenience and friendliness. Personalized messages or commercial ads can be pushed via an app, so the human touch will still be there, but just presented differently.”

Headshot of Steve ResnickSteve Resnick, Chief Revenue Officer at TEZ

“I think people tend to follow the path of least resistance, that is, whatever is easier and more comfortable as somebody’s first instinct. When given a choice, the use of a contactless platform vs a traditional payment method is one such instinct. You’ve got multiple options these days including apps and SMS-based platforms that allow for two-way texting, real-time public messaging, and I think this actually increases personal interaction. So I believe that we are in touch now more than ever before, and with enriched customer services that trend is certain to continue.”

Headshot of Felix ZhengFelix Zheng, General Manager at JIESHUN

“Contactless parking definitely offers a better parking experience for drivers. That’s why, in my opinion, it will be the future trend in most countries. There are several different ways to achieve contactless parking, and license plate recognition is the ideal way. Based on AI algorithm, the license plate recognition can meet the requirements of all the current parking scenarios. Most importantly it is more cost-effective than other technologies, however, it is hard to say the ending of human touch and it takes time to develop new user habits.”

Headshot of Adrian CsekoAdrian Cseko, Sales Manager at Asura Technologies

“I think the primary mainsprings for contactless parking are to provide a convenient service, save time, and protect ourselves as well as our environment. So in my point of view, parking has been well on its way to going contactless, the pandemic simply spread up this process. Touchless parking is not just safe, but also a highly efficient, cost-effective, and comprehensive alternative to manual parking control. So in the end, everybody wins.”