Time to Harness the Benefits of Smart Parking

Lai Wee Leong

Division Manager, Smart Parking & Toll, Mobility Road Business Unit, ST Engineering

Aging and conventional parking systems, urban parking challenges, coupled with the shift to vehicle electrification are driving strong interest in smart car park systems. With smart parking solutions that offer greater operational efficiencies and insights on top of flexible operating models, car park operators and building owners now have an plethora of tech-driven solutions to help them achieve their operational and sustainability goals while delivering better parking experiences for motorists. 

Finding car park space when you are in a rush is the last thing that should worry you. Before driving off, you take out your mobile phone, search for an available car park closest to your destination and reserve a spot. On reaching your destination, you breeze through a barrier-free car park, find your spot, attend to your tasks and exit smoothly with your parking fee automatically deducted through a mobile app.

Meanwhile, a car park operator starts his day by remotely accessing a network of car parks under his charge through a secure cloud-based smart car park platform. From one dashboard, he can monitor a single or multiple car parks in real time, respond to issues immediately and dispatch resources swiftly where needed. Through this centralised data platform, he can easily access car park occupancy and collected revenue information, process season parking applications, and gain other useful insights to enhance parking services for motorists.

The two scenarios above are now entirely possible with smart car park systems.

Parking woes of motorists and car park operators 

In congested urban environments, finding available parking is a key pain point for motorists. Circling for parking not only creates traffic congestion but also leads to time wasted, unnecessary fuel wastage and carbon emissions. According to a 2017 study by traffic data aggregator INRIX, motorists from the United States, Germany and Britain spend billions of dollars a year in wasted time and fuel searching for parking space, while bearing the inconvenience of having to estimate parking duration and fees.

For car park operators, ageing and conventional parking systems can substantially increase the cost of operating and maintaining car parks as they are unable to optimise efficiency and provide more motorist-centric parking services.

Benefits of a digitalised parking journey

A fully digitalised smart parking management system can minimise parking woes for motorists and the knock-on effects on car park operators and cities. Besides improving parking services to motorists, tech-enabled parking solutions and mobile application can also reduce the time spent and distance travelled in search of parking spaces. For operators, this is a more seamless and efficient approach to car park operations and management.

On a larger scale, when smart car parks are integrated as part of a smart city framework, the massive amount of real-time data on car park traffic and parking flow can be collected and analysed to help city planners better plan for infrastructure to meet future needs. Information on car park vacancies in high-traffic venues can also be disseminated through travel information systems and mobile apps to enhance motorists’ experience.

AGIL Smart Car Park Suite 

ST Engineering’s fully automated AGIL Smart Car Park Suite unifies all car park operations on a cloud-based platform to provide convenient and seamless parking experiences to motorists while improving operational efficiency for car park operators and building owners.

Through leveraging technologies such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), data analytics and mobile payment, the Smart Car Park platform offers real-time visibility of car park status, remote monitoring and integrated management of both single and multiple car parks. It helps operators optimise parking space utilisation, improve billing and revenue collection processes while providing seamless operation and resource management. It also optimises car park planning with useful insights for preventive and predictive maintenance. In addition, collected data can be used to identify parking trends and peak times as well as for revenue reporting and demand forecasting.

This means that car park operators no longer need to invest in parking meters or attendants for on-street parking. As the platform resides on secure cloud and automates processes and payment through mobile apps, it is more efficient and overheads can be reduced compared to conventional manual ticketing and cash collection systems. The platform also offers car park operators opportunities to develop new business models including dynamic parking tariffs, reward programmes and targeted advertisements for motorists.

Modular and scalable, the AGIL Smart Car Park Suite can be easily integrated with other systems such as parking guidance systems, enforcement systems and payment modules. It offers a Software-as-a-Service option to facilitate quick deployment without costly infrastructure and software investments.

With the increasing adoption of electric vehicles (EV) in Singapore and cities worldwide, an EV charging and management module is also available with the AGIL Smart Car Park Suite. To optimise overall operational efficiency and maintenance, EV charging stations and payment can be seamlessly managed through the platform.

One-Stop GoParkinTM Mobile App 

The AGIL Smart Car Park Suite is also putting data in the hands of motorists to drive better decision-making and journey planning.

Its user-friendly GoParkinTM mobile app is a one-stop solution that provides motorists with real-time information on nearby parking lots, parking rates and allows parking fees to be paid digitally to provide a convenient and seamless parking experience.

The flexible parking feature allows motorists to receive alerts before their parking session ends to either extend or end it, and only pay for the duration parked. Motorists can also pay for their EV charging fees via the mobile app.

Singapore’s First Barrier-Free Smart Car Park 

ST Engineering’s Smart Car Park solutions have been deployed across more than 370,000 car park spaces worldwide. In Singapore, we have launched the country’s first barrier-free Smart Car Park together with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), accelerating the drive towards car parks of the future.

Deployed across NTU’s multi-site campuses, the smart car park system offers NTU significant savings by reducing operational and maintenance costs by over 10 per cent. It also provides hassle-free convenience for motorists with seamless entry and exit, as well as cashless payment through the GoParkinTM mobile app. Besides delivering improved customer satisfaction, it also cuts the time that car park staff previously took to manage barrier-related issues by half.

With the plethora of benefits that smart car parks offer, it’s timely for car park operators, building and property owners to think about harnessing technology to transform car parks to help them achieve operational and business goals, while contributing to a smarter and more sustainable future.

Learn more about AGIL Smart Car Park Suite.

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