Real Estate: How Coronavirus Will Shape the Smart Parking of the Future
In Chicago and across the country, parking dynamics have changed dramatically in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Workspaces going virtual as employees work from home to flatten the COVID-19 (a.k.a Coronavirus) curve has caused an increase in the number of vehicles parked in residential buildings. Furthermore, drivers are now more reluctant than ever to use keypads, fobs, key cards, and ticket machines in common areas that increase the chances spreading of the virus. During these times, there is a heightened need for contactless and touchless technologies to control the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. Therefore, the real estate industry must ask the question: How Coronavirus Will Shape the Smart Parking of the Future? Continue reading to find out our perspective.
As Smart Parking technologies and solutions begin to emerge and become implemented in cities across America, it is imperative that these solutions include contactless technologies to better fight the spread of diseases in today’s world. Commercial real estate buildings, investors, and architects must consider access and license plate reading (LPR) technologies when designing, building, or transforming their existing real-estate assets to cope with the current situation and prepare for the future.
What is Smart Parking?
Traditional parking garages feature several pieces of technology, working separately and in a way that does not allow the customer to connect with them seamlessly. For example, a traditional parking garage might feature a gate to limit access, a kiosk to distribute tickets, a pay station to complete your transaction, and an exit kiosk to accept your paid ticket. However, these systems do not generally connect with each other to share information and there is no way for a customer to interface with these systems using their smartphone or other devices. Instead, they must physically interact with each separate device, using only a paper ticket to transfer data from one machine to the next.
Smart Parking, on the other hand, utilizes systems and technologies to create an integrated network of devices, that all work together and interface seamlessly with a customer’s smartphone or computer. For example, a smart parking garage might show customers available spaces through an app, allow customers to reserve spaces ahead of time, allow quick and simple entry to customers with reservations, and allow payment through a customer’s mobile device. With Smart Parking, information about the garage and parking availability is tracked and easily available, not just to management, but to prospective customers as well. Additionally, customers are able to complete their transactions and payments all through the convenience of their mobile device or computer, without needing to interact with a kiosk or separate machine. With smart parking, your customers experience the ultimate convenience, flexibility, and transparency throughout their parking journey.
How Does a Smart Parking System Work?
Unlike traditional parking solutions, Smart Parking systems use a network of sensors and devices that work seamlessly together to track all activity within the garage. These systems are also connected to the internet, allowing them to interface with customers through the web and display valuable information. Smart Parking systems use sensors to track all cars entering and exiting the facility. By using license plate reading (LPR) technology, no tickets are necessary, and the systems know exactly when each car enters and exits by scanning their license plates.
Smart Parking facilities also connect to the internet, allowing prospective customers to view current availability within the garage and make reservations from their smartphone or computer. By keeping track of these reservations and cars currently in the facility, the system is able to automatically detect when it has sold out of parking, limiting access to only vehicles with a reservation. Furthermore, customers are able to complete their transactions and pay for their parking reservations online. When customers with a reservation approach a smart parking facility with LPR technology, the gates will automatically open, recognizing their vehicle as having already purchased parking. With Smart Parking, your customers no longer need to interact with kiosks or pay stations. Instead, they can do everything directly from their phone, leading to maximum ease and convenience.
A Smart Parking garage my also opt to install sensors at every spot in the facility that detect whether or not the spot is occupied. Using these sensors, dynamic signs could be placed throughout the parking facility, directing vehicles to areas of the facility with current vacancies. Some facilities even place lights above each parking spot, automatically switching on lights above spots that are vacant. This calls attention to vacant spots, helping your customer locate parking sooner and reducing the amount of time they spend searching for a spot.
What are the Components of Smart Parking?
A Smart Parking system starts with license plate reading (LPR) technology. LPR technology uses a series of cameras to automatically detect and read the license plate of any approaching vehicles. In a Smart Parking solution, LPR technology is placed at entry and exit points of a parking facility, connected to security gates or garage doors. When the system detects the license plate of an authorized vehicle, the gate or door opens, granting the vehicle access without any interaction or input by the driver. With ParqEx’s Access+ Premium solution, you can install LPR technology in your facility today. To learn more about LPR and its various benefits, click here.
Next, Smart Parking systems need a way for prospective customers to view parking availability and making parking reservations from the convenience of their smart phone or computer. ParqEx’s Marketplace solution enables customers to do just that, offering the ability to book parking from a device in just a few easy clicks. Additionally, with ParqEx’s Marketplace, customers can complete their transaction and pay for their reservation using their mobile device as well. Now, all the tools that your customers need to browse, manage, and purchase parking are available right at their fingertips.
Finally, every parking solution requires enforcement. With Smart Parking, however, parking enforcement is easier than ever. Smart Parking systems automatically track and log every vehicle that enters and exits your facility. If a customer’s authorized parking window has expired and they have not yet left the premises, managers can get an automatic notification of the violation, complete with license plate number and pictures of the vehicle. ParqEx’s Enforcer app connects seamlessly with their LPR offering, Access+ Premium, to give mangers all tools they need for enforcement directly on their mobile device. With LPR systems and tools like Enforcer by ParqEx, you can eliminate the need to manually patrol your premises and check for violators.
Why Do We Need Smart Parking?
The global coronavirus pandemic has drastically increased consumer demand for contactless solutions, services, and business practices, perhaps permanently. Smart Parking solutions are essentially the only secure way to address this new founded demand in the parking sector. The use of license plate reading technologies, such as ParqEx’s Access+ Premium solution, allow 100% touchless and contactless access to parking facilities, keeping guests safe and offering peace of mind.
Additionally, as technology continues to develop, consumers continue to demand more and more smart solutions that they can interact with and control from their phones. In the parking industry, this is already beginning to occur. In a world where consumers are able to order, pay, and manage everything from their smart devices, it’s only natural that they expect the same ability when it comes to parking. Soon, Smart Parking systems will be seen not as an added convenience, but as the default standard with which consumers expect to conduct their parking. By being ahead of the curve and investing in Smart Parking now, you can provide your customers with unparalleled ease and convenience today, while being prepared to meet the expectations of consumers tomorrow.
Finally, Smart Parking systems significantly streamline management and enforcement for property managers. With Smart Parking, there are no badges, tickets, or fobs to stock or administer. Everything your managers need to manage and administer parking is available directly from their home or office computer.
Smart Parking in Action
ParqEx has experience in successfully deploying LPR parking technology and creating Smart Parking solutions. One such example of this solution in action can be found at Lacuna Lofts, a shared workspace and events venue in Chicago’s Lower West Side. Before partnering with ParqEx, Lacuna Lofts’ parking lot was unsecured, and unauthorized users frequently gained access to parking intended for tenants and guests. However, after ParqEx implemented their suite of tools and services, the facility was able to successfully block unauthorized users, while still giving tenants and guests 100% touchless “drive up and enter” access to their lot. Additionally, thanks to ParqEx’s Marketplace, Lacuna Lofts was finally able to start monetizing their parking facility, allowing customers to book parking directly from their smartphones. ParqEx helped Lacuna Lofts transform their parking facility, bringing it into the future and giving their tenants and guests unmatched convenience and security.
To learn more, download ParqEx’s case study on Lacuna Lofts.
Ask Us Today About LPR Solutions
Without a doubt, LPR is the future of parking access and security. It offers several benefits for customers and managers of parking facilities, creating an improved parking experience for tenants and streamlined, more secure operations for management. ParqEx’s Access+ Premium with License Plate Recognition technology is available now and has been proven in the field. If you think that LPR technology could benefit your parking facility, reach out to ParqEx today to learn more about how Coronavirus will shape the smart parking of the future and how we can help transform your facility into a smart parking facility.