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Smart parking for companies: why not make your car parks intelligent?

21 September 2020

Access to parking is an important criterion whether you are looking for new customers or recruiting new talent. But it is also a cost centre for companies that can be optimised through the IoT.

Imagine arriving at the office 20 minutes early for an important meeting to give yourself time to find parking. The problem is that the building’s car park is already full. You head for the exit and cross the road to the car park opposite. To make matters worse, that one is full too. Wearily, you turn to the underground car park. But once inside, there are five or six cars ahead of you, all desperately searching for a free place. You try to call your colleagues to let them know you’re running late but there’s no mobile reception underground. A long half-hour later, you finally arrive in the meeting room with your stress level through the roof.

Adopt smart parking

After the smart office, smart parking allows you to considerably improve the experience of your customers and employees while controlling costs. How? Thanks to IoT sensors that operate wirelessly and detect the presence of parked vehicles in real time. A green light helps drivers spot free spaces from a distance, while the number of spaces is indicated by a light display at the car park entrance.

In addition to helping employees or visitors find a space more quickly, this system comes with other features that facilitate the management process. For example, parking spaces can be reserved remotely from any smartphone. You can also divide car park users into several groups and assign different rights to each group. For example, you can reserve the spaces nearest the entrance for pregnant women, offer larger spaces for people with reduced mobility, or even assign designated spaces for the three weeks of an audit.

Each user receives a beacon to place in their vehicle, which allows you to identify squatters, i.e. individuals who park in disabled spaces without the associated sensor. You also optimise the use of space and avoid attracting “lifers” (cars that stay in the car park for days on end).

A similar smart parking system was recently implemented by POST in a car park with over 1,300 spaces managed by Veolia in Luxembourg. It allows the multinational to make better use of the limited parking space available.

Better understand how your car parks are used

“Without data, you're just another person with an opinion” said the US statistician Edwards Deming. Well, connected sensors give you a very clear overview of the car park occupancy level. Comprehensive data on the average occupancy rate, parking duration and more is compiled in the form of a dashboard in a SaaS platform. You have full visibility over actual parking data. As a result, you can make informed decisions, including on how to adapt to the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic. Is over half of your team working remotely? By distributing access passes in a better way, you can allow more people access to the car park. And of course, all data is aggregated and anonymised to comply with data protection legislation.

While smart parking leverages innovative technology, the real breakthrough is enabling organisations to become more agile. Because, as Stephen Hawking said, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”

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