Smart parking” is a term covering a variety of technologies to make parking more convenient and efficient. For example, some firms make hockey puck-shaped sensors designed to be installed in the pavement so system operators can identify available parking spaces.
In another application, municipalities are installing “smart meters,” where drivers pay using a mobile app and can extend their parking time remotely without having to retrace their steps to their vehicle.
“Some cities are experimenting with variable price parking, dynamically priced, so parking spaces are always available, relative to demand,” says Paul Lewis, vice president of policy at the Eno Center for Transportation, a nonpartisan think tank.
Fybr is a smart-parking platform featuring embedded street sensors, digital signage and an API data feed that directs drivers to the nearest available parking spaces, both free and metered.
“We largely deploy with municipalities but have deployed at universities and corporate campuses as well,” says Matt Willenbrink, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Fybr.
“Many municipalities are currently only using this data at this time to assess their current parking utilization and then leveraging that data to optimize their parking infrastructure though policy and pricing,” he says. Fybr currently has deployments in seven states and the District of Columbia.
Another player in the field is CloudParc, an early-stage company “that is developing a patented technology, with a number of proof-of-concept deployments around the U.S., including cities in New York, California, Texas and Ohio,” says Tom Wong, chief technology officer. “CloudParc exclusively uses computer vision with deep learning (i.e., video cameras), hence maximizing scalability and minimizing installation and maintenance costs.” CloudParc’s system has been deployed primarily on city streets and in business parks.
Parking facilities also are being constantly retrofitted. “We expect to see new advances in Bluetooth beacon technology in the coming years to improve ingress and egress at facilities,” says Jeff Eckerling, chief growth officer at SP Plus Corp., which advises parking facility owners on technology integration.