Smart Parking Garage
In 2009, for the first time in the history of our civilization, the number of people living in urban areas surpassed the number living in rural areas. As a result of this influx of people moving to urban cities, an increasing number of cities around the world are struggling with traffic congestion and limited parking spaces. Multi-story parking garages were developed to accommodate more vehicles in the same area, but these facilities have not alleviated congestion.
The advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has now allowed cities and municipalities to develop innovative solutions for Smart Parking using sensor technologies. These solutions include various Smart City components such as cameras, wireless communications, data analytics, edge servers, and advanced algorithms. Parking garages are now able to integrate these Smart Parking solutions to increase efficiency and promote better commuter experience.
Here are ways that garages can be transformed into Smart Garages:
- Integrated Parking Solution: By integrating sensing systems, data transmission elements, and software management platforms, sensors deployed in each parking space are connected to a wireless gateway to transmit vehicle activity to a cloud-based IoT management application. The information is analyzed, and the number of open parking spaces is relayed to digital signage outside the parking garage, mobile applications, and the Department of Transportation monitoring systems for predictive congestion management. These parking solutions, enhanced with end-to-end data encryption, are highly resistant to cyberattacks and data interception.
- Billing and Third-Party Applications: Smart Garages enable commuters to search, reserve, and pay for parking spaces on their mobile devices using pay-by-cell solutions. In addition, Smart Parking can be connected to city cameras to eliminate camping in short-term parking, overstays in loading zones and parking spots that keep motorists circling for legitimate parking spaces. Parking garages can also integrate with toll-tags for convenience. Dynamic pricing can be enabled and presented to motorists, thereby ensuring availability during peak times and promoting incentives during off-peak hours.
- Parking Garage Vending Machine: With the advent of connected and autonomous vehicles, Smart Parking Garages can prepare their infrastructure to enable V2I (Vehicle and Infrastructure) capabilities. When an autonomous vehicle enters a parking garage, the parking system uses lasers to identify the vehicle and a robot valets the car to the parking space. The City of Boulder, CO, PearlWest project is featuring this technology. With autonomous vehicles, parking garages will not need lighting or ventilation since there are no drivers or passengers. Cars will be able to park themselves closer together, increasing the volume of cars parked in a limited area.
- LEED Certifications: LEED platinum certification can be achieved by incorporating autonomous and low emitting fuel-efficient vehicles, EV (electronic vehicle) charging stations, solar panels for on-site renewable energy, natural daylight, high-speed connectivity, and use recycled building materials into building plans. These are all low pollution options.
- Traffic Flow: Smart Garages can be connected to city infrastructure for efficient traffic flow. For example, Smart Garages can be connected to streetlights so that when a large event ends, traffic lights can adjust automatically to accommodate the surge in traffic on city streets. In addition, parking garages with multiple entrances have varied wait times to enter and exit. By connecting the wait times data with surrounding streetlights, this can help direct traffic to entrances with the least wait times.