Compark 2015

Congratulations to the ANPSG (Australian National Parking Steering Group) on ComPark 2015. An Interesting and thought provoking speech was given by Parking Australia CEO @Lorraine Duffy on the impact of future technologies. Some take-aways for me from the presentation were:

  • 60% of people will abandon an activity if parking is too difficult, and they will try somewhere else

  • Parking guidance systems can reduce time of journey by 43%, and distance travelled by 30%

  • Like the revolution in the accommodation industry with Wotif, a channel manager for parking could overlay all the separate systems we have for a better customer experience

  • Mobile, infrastructure-less solutions are the way of the future

  • Legislation has to keep up with technological changes

  • We need to use the data we obtain from our various systems in a more strategic manner

Lorraine also posed a question – how will the introduction of driverless vehicles impact your industry? I had a think about it.  A driverless share vehicle for instance may only need to ‘park” to refuel/charge up. Car parks could become more like service hubs for a city share fleet.

Driverless vehicles are lauded as a better safety option – will it one day become illegal to actually drive a car as a less safe/ less skilled human? Will the attachment we have with owning a vehicle dissipate? And what new safety or security risks arise from computer controlled devices?

Driverless vehicles will not speed, run red lights or park where they shouldn’t. What does this mean for infringement revenue?  How do the externalities we benefit from with lower fatalities be calculated and distributed? Will we ever need a bus driver or a taxi driver again?

A thought provoking speech indeed!

Elizabeth Zealand is the CEO of Spot Parking

Lessons from Las Vegas - 5 Key trends in smart parking

A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to attend the International Parking Institute’s conference in Las Vegas. There is a lot of talk around smart cities at the moment, and smart parking should be front and centre. Here are the 5 key trends I observed from around the world.

1.    Big Data

The integration of intelligent transport solutions, geospatial and parking data from sensors, meters and cameras helps predict demand and helps improve commercial opportunities as well as improve a city’s management.

In one example an Authority mapped parking and travel patterns to time of day and weather data. This allowed for dynamic pricing. E.g. sunny Friday’s showed excess capacity and an opportunity to lower prices to encourage demand. Another example mapped demographic and survey data to parking data, and found a mix of theatre goers and baseball fans simultaneously using a parking facility. The car park offered theatre patrons premium spaces for $20, whilst the fans parked further away for $5.

2.    Mobile

Mobile cashless parking is a very fast growing category and is transcending the dated SMS and IVR phone solutions in favour of GPS/Cloud based solutions such as SPOT. The jury is out on using apps to discover spaces, as many of the authorities were cautious to encourage mobile phone use whilst driving. Integration with smart vehicle navigation systems such as BMW was also showcased.

3.    Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS) & Smart parking integration

It was often lamented that in many cities, the management of the roads and the management of parking is managed by separate and silo-ed entities. As we move to more ITS implementations such as driverless vehicles, connected vehicles, automatic number plate recognition and intelligent traffic signals, we can extend the prediction and risk management of traffic to the parking availability and access. After all, the transport journey doesn’t end until you’ve parked.

4.    Green/ Community

Sustainable solutions from everything like the construction materials of carparks, to better navigation thus burning less fuel while looking for parking was a growing market. In line with the growth of mobile solutions, the requirement for environmentally unfriendly meters, machines and paper tickets is reducing. Community access to a city car park for events was also trending, for instance a community fete in a car park that is disused on weekends or after hours.

5.    Social applications for wayfinding/collaborative consumption

Everything from apps that let you warn others in your area when a parking inspector is approaching, to “Airbnb” type schemes where you can rent out your parking space, the share economy has come to parking. Apps like Waze, where simply by having it on whilst you drive contributes to real time traffic data for everyone set the tone for a share economy based on minimising dwell time to commute and park.

Elizabeth Zealand is the CEO of Spot Parking

Spot Applauds an Open Approach

Congratulations Ben Rimmer on the appointment of a Chief Digital Officer, Michelle Fitzgerald.

As a recent survey by SAP has shown, the satisfaction with the digital experience in Australia needs improving across a wide range of industries.  By having an experienced CDO to look beyond just technological innovation and to the customer experience, including opening the access to data, paints a bright future for a Smart City.