PropTech Future Series - Interview with ParkingBnB
In this article, we speak to Valentyn, Head of Business Development at ParkingBnB, on the future of parking space and how proptech is transforming property owners' approach to parking space management.
How is parking space causing transport problems in cities?
Parking spaces do not really cause problems, it's the lack of those, what does. Or, to be precise, it's the ratio of parking spaces for private cars to such vehicles. When the ratio goes below one (current district average ratio for Hong Kong is 1.1), it means there are more cars than parking spaces, and if you were to park all of the cars, you'd face a shortage of parking bays. Therefore, some of the cars will have to keep circling around the car park waiting for other vehicles to free some spaces up. In fact, this is exactly what happens in business districts in towns all over the world during the peak hours. On average, around 30% of traffic is caused by cars looking for a parking spot.
Can we improve the efficiency of land by transforming our parking space?
What would you see if you look at the area around large supermarkets or stadiums, especially in the US? Asphalt fields with straight alleys of numbered parking bays. Needless to say, there are countless ways to improve the efficiency of such land. And I'm not only talking about building multi-storey car parks instead of the flat ones, but even simple data-driven decisions could also change things a lot!
Why should property managers care about parking space transforming?
This one is straightforward – the better service they provide, the more clients they get, the more money they make. And I'm not even talking about special services that are available at certain car parks, such as car washing or EV charging – any property owner can benefit a lot from simplifying entry/exit system, added security or introduction of reasonable dynamic and zonal pricing. Even these relatively simple steps would quickly show the increase in numbers of both monthly and hourly users of the car park.
How can technology improve the user experience of car park users and property manager?
Implementation of any technology solution available in the market would highly benefit both the property owner/manager and the car park user. Although license plate recognition systems have been present for several years, the vast majority of the solutions include a simple camera for capturing images and a bulky computer for image processing. Moreover, such systems are often based on items from different hardware manufacturers and software developers, making them less reliable and accurate. Thus, the property owners willing to upgrade their car parks should look for the manufacturers that develop both hardware and software in-house and provide smart cameras with on-the-edge license plate recognition, basically, solutions with image processing inside the camera, as opposed to relying on external computing power.
The list of property owners' benefits from introducing smart cameras and parking management systems is endless. The obvious one is the simplified entry/exit procedure, when the camera recognises the number plate and lets the car in automatically, starting counting time the vehicle stays inside, and opening the exit barrier when the car leaves, making the whole experience seamless and smooth, since the car does not even have to stop. Parking management system records all the data that it gets from cameras and/or sensors and analyses it, delivering the car park owner the clear picture of everything that is happening to his asset. Further on, having collected enough data, smart parking services providers can assist the property owner in making data-driven decisions on how to improve his car park's performance further and reduce operational costs.
Help us imagine the future of parking space
Smart cameras with license plate recognition - The combination of smart cameras and machine learning can help property owners to recognise car plate and car type, opening the entrance gate and tracking real-time occupancy rate of the car park
Mobile application for drivers - With the help of a mobile application, drivers can understand the pricing and occupancy rate of car parks near their destination; embedded with payment capabilities, the mobile application can even allow drivers to pre-book their parking space and access parking facilities without the need of parking tickets/offline payment
Parking management system - Parking management system is the fundamental infrastructure of future parking; it offers valuable data for both the drivers and property managers to maximise efficiency
Control of unauthorised parking - Real-time monitoring of special-purpose parking area (e.g. reserved area/electric car-only space) can be achieved with the instalment of smart cameras
Zonal pricing - With the ability to recognise car plates and car types, property managers can apply zonal pricing to maximise their revenue (parking bays that are closer to the exit may cost higher than the remaining bays)
Parking ticket validation - The procedure for free parking redemption can be eliminated by moving the whole process online - drivers can simply input the discount code offered by shops to their drivers' app to redeem the discount
More about ParkingBnB: Parkingbnb helps drivers find the cheapest and closest parking space considering personal preferences and allows parking owners to increase their profit by deploying contactless payment, dynamic pricing and occupancy control systems. For more information, visit here.
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