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Smart Parking is one of the most popular Smart City initiatives at this moment, and The Netherlands is no exception with multiple Smart Parking projects already operational.
Because of the flexible, scalable and easy-to-install nature, Smart Parking is a low barrier solution for cities that want to harness the power of IoT to bring large benefits to its citizens. But why should policymakers care and why should they act now when it comes to Smart Parking? It’s because time is not our friend. Let us explain.

The time is now for Smart Parking

According to Wards Intelligence, the global vehicle population stood at 1.32 billion cars and trucks by the end of 2016. This number is more than double the amount compared to 20 years ago. On top of it all, vehicle production and sales aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.
By 2035 it is expected that there will be almost 2 billion cars on the road, and some think it could be even sooner. With this staggering growth of vehicles but a limited amount of parking availability, the parking environment needs to adapt.

What is smart parking?
It is an intelligent parking system that assists drivers in finding a parking space. Available spaces are usually indicated using a mobile application or digital displays next to roads to navigate drivers to a vacant spot. The system includes the use of low maintenance battery powered wireless parking sensors to collect real-time data. The data is used to help drivers find available parking spaces without much hassle.

What are the benefits of smart parking for drivers?

Below, we break down some of the major benefits that a smart parking system provides to drivers. In a later article, we’ll go into the benefits for cities.

  • Less fuel is wasted
    Drivers are directed straight to an available parking spot. Therefore they waste fewer kilometers driving around in circles looking for vacant parking space.
  • Save money
    Obviously, by driving more efficient when in search of parking space, you will save on fuel waste. Resulting in spending less money on petrol.
  • Save time
    Additionally, by driving fewer kilometers when in search of parking space, you will save valuable time which can be spent on work, fun or hobbies. Resulting in spending less money on petrol.
  • Lowering individual environmental footprint
    Another benefit of wasting fewer kilometers by searching for a parking spot is that you reduce individual pollution. Fossil fuels, petrol, diesel, and most alternative fuels all produce emissions, especially carbon dioxide (Co2). This pollution will not directly harm human life. However, Co2 is the most significant contributor to greenhouse gases and therefor contributor to climate change.
  • Increase in safety.
    Drivers are less distracted looking around for a spot because they know where they can park their car. They will have their full attention on the road. By having their eyes on the road, accidents will decrease and safety will increase for themselves, other drivers and pedestrians.
  • Smart parking reducing stress while searching for a parking space
    Driving through the same street over and over again, cars breathing down your neck and no parking spot to be seen. Having uncertainty and pressure to find a parking spot near your destination can be very stressful. With the use of smart parking, you know where the available parking space is located. You can drive straight to an open parking spot, stress-free.
  • Smart Parking takes away the unpredictability of finding a parking spot
    Not visiting a particular (part of a) city because you do not want the hassle of finding an available parking spot. Knowing you are going to drive around for many minutes and probably are going to find a place far, far away from your destination can be very discouraging. Smart parking will allow you to see where you can park your car, and at what time it is the busiest.
  • Smart parking will reduce search traffic on the streets.
    Smart parking will make sure there are fewer cars on the streets that drive slowly, circling for ages, looking around for a spot. This will benefit traffic flow and will reduce congestions in neighborhoods with an under capacity in parking space. Therefore there are fewer traffic jams, and drivers will benefit by having less traffic on the streets.
With the increase in vehicles on the road and current infrastructural challenges, the need for efficiencies when it comes to mobility and parking becomes more and more apparent. Even thought autonomous vehicles are becoming a thing these days, the need for parking does not appear to be diminishing. At this moment in time, cities need to manage the potential impact of all changes the future might bring. This can be done through precise and future proof planning with the help of a Smart Parking system to collect and analyze data ultimately leading to a healthier city.

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