A growing challenge in the cities is how to meet its citizen’s parking needs. Users expect navigation support to help them find parking spots close to their destination. With the growth of hybrid and electrical cars, the demand for powered parking spots will grow in urban areas. But what role do networks and smartphones play in this scenario?
Today, information about available parking spots is first displayed at the entry to a garage. With enhanced navigation support en route, the next step is to extend this type of information for empty parking spots. The value to society and citizens from finding a parking spot instantly will come in terms of time saved and reduced emissions. A networked parking lot or garage has the capability to make its available spots accessible to cars nearby. Checking-in a few minutes prior to arrival can soon be a reality.
The transition to electrical and hybrid cars is essential to reduce emissions in urban areas. Integrating electrical/hybrid car charging into urban parking is the next, natural step for dedicated electronic vehicle (EV) parking spots. Distributing charging locations to natural parking spots can make at-home and at-work parking a reality.
With the population growing in major urban areas, parking will continue to be a scarce resource. Efficient use of parking is relevant in urban centers but so is commuter parking – where multi-modal travelers switch to public transportation. With multi-modal travelling apps, different information about public transportation can be linked and extended to include private transportation. The adventure of parking cars in urban centers could soon be history, at least insofar as it is possible to serve the needs with existing parking spots.
My predictions for the future of networked parking are:
– Navigation support will be extended from best routes to also include parking.
– Location-based technology will allow nearby cars to check-in to a parking spot prior to arrival to reduce traffic load from “parking finding”.
– Dedicated EV parking spots will allow charging while “cityzens” are at work.