How Parking Guidance Allows for An Easy Parking Experience
If you’ve ever spent a considerable amount of time driving around a parking lot or garage aimlessly looking for an empty spot, you know how frustrating the parking process can be. Fortunately, developments in technology have led to a solution for this prevalent problem known as parking guidance systems. These increasingly prevalent systems were created as a part of the universal initiative of developing an intelligent transportation system to facilitate a safer, more efficient transportation network. To learn how parking guidance allows for an easy parking experience, continue reading.
What Is Parking Guidance?
Parking guidance refers to a system that provides drivers with real-time information regarding the occupation and availability of parking spots in a controlled area. These systems have been implemented in many different settings—from airports and hospitals to malls and campuses.
Essentially, a parking guidance system acts as an advanced car counting system. Based on how many cars have entered the parking garage or lot, the system will indicate how many spots remain vacant. In doing so, people can avoid driving around aimlessly only to realize that all the spots are occupied.
Some parking guidance systems will also provide more specific information on unoccupied parking spots. For example, instead of just stating that four spots remain open in a vicinity, it may also indicate where those spots are located—such as on the second level of a parking garage. Such information is especially helpful as it allows drivers to locate the open spots more quickly.
In addition to providing real-time information regarding parking availability in a controlled area, parking guidance systems often have a “find your car” option to help drivers locate their parked car when they need to return to their vehicle. By typing in your license plate number, some parking guidance systems will provide you with information on where your vehicle is located within the vicinity. This capability prevents drivers from having to wander around a large parking lot or garage while incessantly clicking their car locks to try and remember where they parked.
How Parking Guidance Works
Parking guidance systems work by combining communication, traffic monitoring, and information processing technologies. When a vehicle enters a parking lot or garage, the system will likely have two ALPR cameras in place to scan its front and back license plate. Upon doing so, the driver will pay at the kiosk and receive their ticket at the ticket machine. Once they have paid, the barrier will lift, allowing the car to enter the parking garage or lot. As the car moves forward into the controlled parking area, it will pass by an ultrasonic directional sensor which will collect information indicating that another car has entered the vicinity. Once in the lot, the parking guidance system will likely have variable message signs (VMS) set up to provide information on where any open spaces are located and how many remain.
Once the driver finds an empty space where they would like to park, they will pull into the spot and pass under a single space adaptive lighting sensor which is located above every parking spot. The sensor will register that the spot is no longer open and will typically change from green—which indicates that the spot is open—to red, indicating that it is taken. The adaptive lighting sensors will also shine a blue light to indicate that a given spot is reserved for drivers who have a disability.
In addition to changing color, sensors will also send updated information regarding the occupation of a parking spot throughout the system to immediately update the data provided on the variable message signs. To connect all of the various devices used throughout a parking guidance system and provide real-time processing, industrial network switches are typically required.
The Benefits of Parking Guidance Systems
Parking guidance systems offer numerous benefits to both drivers and parking operators alike. Below, we’ve listed some of the most notable advantages of these innovative systems.
- Reduce search time: One of the most notable benefits of parking guidance systems is their ability to reduce the amount of time a person spends searching for a parking spot. Without parking guidance, drivers can spend a considerable amount of time circling around a parking lot or garage trying to find an open spot that may not even exist. By displaying information on a VMS regarding how many open spots remain and where they’re located, drivers can drive directly to the open spot.
- Decrease traffic congestion: Parking guidance systems are also highly beneficial for reducing traffic congestion. By indicating where open parking spots are located within an area, drivers won’t have to drive aimlessly looking for a space. As a result, drivers can get in and out of the parking lot more quickly, thus decreasing traffic from building up in the lot.
-Reduce accidents: The presence of several vehicles in a small area driven by impatient people who’ve been trying to find a parking spot for a significant period of time doesn’t make the safest combination. Road rage or desperation triggered by the frustration of not being able to find an empty parking spot in a timely manner can cause drivers to drive more aggressively, increasing their potential for getting into an accident. By decreasing traffic congestion and making it easy to find open parking spots, the number of accidents can be reduced.
-Environmental advantages: By indicating where open spaces are located, drivers can drive directly to an empty parking space. As such, they won’t have to drive around the parking area several times until they find one which wastes gas and has a negative impact on the environment.
-Provides valuable data to parking operators: The provision of real-time data regarding the occupation of controlled parking areas allows parking operators to adjust parking tariffs based on supply and demand. In doing so, parking operators can offer lower hourly rates when the parking area is empty and increase them as the area fills up for optimal profits.
Antaira is a leading provider of industrial networking solutions. If you’re looking for an industrial PoE switch to help network the light sensors, ALPR cameras, variable message signs, and other devices in a parking guidance system, we offer a wide range of highly advanced and reliable options to choose from. To learn more about our products, shop our online collection or contact us today.