Smart Parking

A Guide to Ensuring a Successful
Mobile IoT Deployment

Parking is going through a disruptive shift as technology enables new ways of maximising utilisation of parking spaces, and drivers become more demanding of using apps and other services to find available spaces

Parking is a generator of revenue for the city, facilitates economic growth and is a factor in improving quality of life in many cities. Giving drivers access to parking spots in locations near to where they live, work and undertake leisure activities is crucial to ensuring that a cities’ economic prosperity thrives.
Many of the issues cities experience with pollution and traffic can be traced directly back to poor management of parking
utilisation:

  • Vehicles circle city streets looking for parking
  • New vehicles enter cities even when parking facilities
    are full
  •  Vehicles queue waiting to enter and leave car parks

This additional movement creates traffic and increases vehicle miles travelled – which means more pollutants are generated. The indirect effect of this is wasted time and money. Businesses suffer as people cannot reach them, and productivity is affected by people being late for work, school and other appointments. By managing parking demand and supply in a more effective manner, these issues can be reduced or removed entirely

The increasing emergence of electric vehicles also means that parking increasingly needs to be segmented by vehicle type,
and smart parking allows for different segments to be handled in different ways. Disabled drivers, delivery drivers, families and
vehicle types can be managed in an inclusive way, with priorities given where appropriate. In the not too distant future, smart
parking will become an essential tool for autonomous vehicles in both navigating around a city and parking themselves in
appropriate locations.

Mobile operators are at the heart of this change, providing advanced solutions to cater for the needs of Smart Parking. Newly
developed Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks, also known as Mobile IoT networks are designed specifically to support the IoT
sensors and data that enables smart parking. These networks are designed to be secure, scalable, future-proofed and operate costeffectively

The increasing emergence of electric vehicles also means that parking increasingly needs to be segmented by vehicle type,
and smart parking allows for different segments to be handled in different ways. Disabled drivers, delivery drivers, families and
vehicle types can be managed in an inclusive way, with priorities given where appropriate. In the not too distant future, smart
parking will become an essential tool for autonomous vehicles in both navigating around a city and parking themselves in
appropriate locations.

Mobile operators are at the heart of this change, providing advanced solutions to cater for the needs of Smart Parking. Newly
developed Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks, also known as Mobile IoT networks are designed specifically to support the IoT
sensors and data that enables smart parking. These networks are designed to be secure, scalable, future-proofed and operate costeffectively

PARKING MANAGEMENT 

There are a number of stakeholders whose views need to be taken into account when building a set of requirements for a future smart parking service. One of the key considerations is if the parking to be provided is on-street, off-street or a combination of both. On-street parking will have more complex needs, for identifying available spaces and ensuring revenue collection from parked cars, than off-street parking where vehicles typically have to pass through entry and exit points which can be controlled. Also short term parking spaces may have different needs than long term with short term often being in higher demand, resulting in a more defined need for tighter parking controls to ensure that vehicles do not overstay and short term parking is paid for in full. Smart parking  enables new billing models for this type of parking – mobile payments combined with space utilisation data can mean per minute parking charges rather than flat rate in some locations. Who installs parking sensors and controls also needs to be considered. In a new build car park this may well be the construction or fit-out company, but in existing car parks and locations, retro-fitting of intelligent barriers, cameras and inpavement sensors could come from a number of stakeholders including building managers, parking operators and cities themselves. Additional equipment installed to manage parking space utilisation and ticketing obviously means additional costs and complexity 

Network coverage is crucial for both on-street and off-street parking locations. Mobile IoT offers wide area coverage as it is based on existing mobile networks. It is designed to penetrate deeper indoors and underground than existing networks so it can be used in a wide variety of car parks. To enable accurate billing, parking sensors need to know exactly when a car arrives and departs from a parking spot. Mobile IoT networks offer real-time messaging so as soon as a space is vacant, a message can be sent to the billing system to charge the driver. 

Maintenance of parking sensors can be expensive, so Mobile IoT sensors offer a very long battery life so that once installed, sensors do not need to be re-visited. 

PARKING REVENUE 

For cities, car park operators and landowners, billing for parking is either a crucial source of income, or a valuable control mechanism for driver behaviour. Thus, ticketing for parking and enforcement of payment is a core part of the parking value chain. Smart parking can help with both of these attributes – income and behaviour – by applying different rules in common ways. By ensuring that there is information available on parking utilisation, the city can ensure that parking tariffs are designed in such a way as to either encourage or deter people from parking in certain locations. At peak times, prices could be high to maximise revenue, whereas off-peak tariffs can be lowered to encourage people into city centres for leisure activities. Accurate billing can be based on how long a vehicle is parked for, and IoT sensors allow cities to measure this precisely, meaning that per minute billing could be used in some scenarios. This is particularly valuable for on-street parking, which does not have the entry and exit points of off-street parking, and so time parked is harder to measure and enforce. 

To enable accurate billing, parking sensors need to know exactly when a car arrives and departs from a parking spot. Mobile IoT networks offer real-time messaging so as soon as a space is vacant, a message can be sent to the billing system to charge the driver 

PARKING REVENUE 

For cities, car park operators and landowners, billing for parking is either a crucial source of income, or a valuable control mechanism for driver behaviour. Thus, ticketing for parking and enforcement of payment is a core part of the parking value chain. Smart parking can help with both of these attributes – income and behaviour – by applying different rules in common ways. By ensuring that there is information available on parking utilisation, the city can ensure that parking tariffs are designed in such a way as to either encourage or deter people from parking in certain locations. At peak times, prices could be high to maximise revenue, whereas off-peak tariffs can be lowered to encourage people into city centres for leisure activities. Accurate billing can be based on how long a vehicle is parked for, and IoT sensors allow cities to measure this precisely, meaning that per minute billing could be used in some scenarios. This is particularly valuable for on-street parking, which does not have the entry and exit points of off-street parking, and so time parked is harder to measure and enforce. 

To enable accurate billing, parking sensors need to know exactly when a car arrives and departs from a parking spot. Mobile IoT networks offer real-time messaging so as soon as a space is vacant, a message can be sent to the billing system to charge the driver 

PARKING OPTIMISATION 

The information available to drivers, cities and parking operators increases hugely when intelligence is applied to parking services. Cities and operators looking to deploy smart parking should ensure that the data which will be generated by smart parking services is not held in silos, but is accessible by relevant stakeholders to ensure that a suitable approach to parking can be taken. Smart Parking will change the way that parking is used. Display signage and apps that are used today can be made much more dynamic and let drivers know not just if a space is available, but where those spaces are, how much they cost and how long a vehicle can park there for. The IoT allows cities, parking operators, app providers and even private residents with garages to dynamically offer parking throughout the day. The data can be extended to provide enforcement teams with details of parking availability and let them answer queries on the spot, and allow comparison with any contentious matter that the driver may report. It can also allow integrated management of other city infrastructure such as public transport and air quality sensors to ensure that parking, traffic and travel are seen as an integrated whole across the city, with all stakeholders involved. For example, parking charges can be based on vehicle emissions, so heavy polluters pay more than cleaner vehicles. This can be tied back to air quality date to show improvements in the environment. The success of integrating data from disparate sources together relies on the continued security and thus privacy of that data, and not all parties will be willing to share if an effective security methodology is not in place. Parking operators and cities must ensure that all their service providers and technology partners are able to offer secure communications and handling of data.




 

IoT big data allows for the sharing of IoT and context data so solutions utilising data from multiple sources can be developed. For parking, IoT parking sensor data could be combined with weather, air quality, traffic and other transport data to provide an analysis of traffic and parking trends and enable dynamic transport and parking regimes. 

PARKING INTEGRATION 

The city, and the people and vehicles that use it are being transformed rapidly by the use of mobile technology. Already IoT sensors, mobile apps, mobile payments and smart parking are revolutionising the ways that city approach their parking provision. At the same time, cars are beginning to become connected to all manner of services, meaning that soon parking availability will be able to be transmitted direct to the driver’s dashboard. And in the not too distant future, autonomous vehicles have the potential to completely change our cities environment and parking provision will have to adapt to the new demands that this change brings. Once data on parking availability is generated, it can be linked directly into a navigation system and direct the driver to the precise parking spot. Combined with mobile payments, this means that parking spaces can be reserved in advance before a driver even enters the city, cutting down on congestion and pollution. Integration with wider transport networks is also an important consideration with many integrated services including out of city parking at transitional transport hubs as part of their offering. Parking usage can be used to understand potential public transport demand, and where parking spaces are actively removed to encourage alternative modes of travel, intelligent decisions are able to be taken about how best to balance different needs across the city. Drivers of electric vehicles, and in the future, autonomous vehicles have specific requirements for parking. Obviously electric vehicles need to have at least overnight parking next to a charging point, which can be managed with today’s smart parking services through vehicle classification and prioritisation. Underpinning all of these stakeholders are the communications service providers who are able to link the different components together and the parking operators themselves who are able to join together the elements into a packaged, managed service which the city can use to their advantage. 

Mobile networks are future-proofing themselves with the introduction of Mobile IoT leading to the support of massive numbers of IoT connections. These networks are standardised, upgradable, and offered in licensed spectrum ensuring future service support.