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Smart Parking: How IoT-Based Systems Can Help Users Save Time and Money

Here are six points to help you understand the significance of such technologies in densely populated urban areas.
By Ann Neal
Nov 21, 2017

Whether you drive into the city on a regular basis or just on weekends, finding a roadside or public parking spot near your destination is a challenge. However, parking is not just a problem limited to drivers—several others, including city officials, business owners and traffic police also bear the brunt of this problem. Unfortunately, the issue is going to become worse in the coming years as the global number of private vehicles is increasing rapidly.

According to a recent study, most U.S. motorists spend an average of 17 hours and about $97 per year searching for places to park. When it comes to parking, New York remains the hardest hit area in the United States, as drivers spend, on average, 107 hours a year looking for vacant parking spots.

One cost-effective solution to this seemingly unmanageable problem is a smart parking system based on the Internet of Things (IoT). Such a system can not only make parking hassle-free, but also reduce environmental pollution.

Here are six ways in which smart parking can help both drivers and parking lot operators save time and money.

1. Real-Time Slot Booking
Perhaps the most significant benefit of a smart parking system is its ability to reduce the uncertainty of a trip to the nearest parking lot. When it comes to traditional parking systems, you would have to drive around a parking lot looking for a vacant spot. In other words, you would be wasting your money and time, since the chances of finding an empty spot are quite slim, particularly during peak hours.

Usually, a smart parking system includes three essential components: sensors, real-time monitoring and an automated payment system. The real-time monitoring system allows you to find an empty parking spot before entering the lot itself. Furthermore, the system can integrate other factors as well, including paying parking charges, sending pictures of available parking spaces to you and guiding you to a parking spot, making your trip a lot easier and predictable. Thus, you can drive to the nearest parking lot only if there is a vacancy, saving you both money and time.

2. Decreased Fuel Cost
Chances are, rising fuel prices are already burning a hole in your pocket. Unfortunately, this scenario is likely to get worse as prices continue to rise in the coming future. Though smart parking cannot curb rising prices, it can certainly reduce fossil fuel consumption by a mile, as you no longer need to drive in circles to find a vacant spot.

According to a 2014 report, smart parking could result in 220,000 gallons of fuel-saving by 2030 and approximately 300,000 gallons of fuel-saving by 2050, if implemented successfully. However, this also means reduced traffic congestion and decreased carbon dioxide emissions. Thus, smart parking will ultimately help to reduce the global air pollution as well.

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