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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

3. Innovative Pricing and Integrated Payment Gateways
As mentioned before, most urban drivers spend a considerable amount of money on parking. Accurate parking information and innovative pricing can reduce traffic congestion in densely populated urban areas. In fact, several public parking systems have already begun implementing demand-responsive pricing to reduce traffic congestion during peak hours.

For example, Clement Street, in San Francisco's Richmond District, has already started implementing demand-responsive pricing for parking meters. Earlier, it was charging a fixed rate of $2.25 per hour during all hours of the day. However, now the charge will go up $0.25, making it $2.50 per hour during times of 80 percent or more occupancy. When occupancy falls below 60 percent, the rates will decrease by $0.25 to only $2.00 per hour. In short, if you want to park near your destination, you may have to pay more—but if you want to pay less, you would need to park further away.

Still, you will have to drive in search of an empty parking spot. However, with a smart parking system in the place, drivers will be able to view the parking rates at different locations and book a suitable spot accordingly, without leaving the comfort of their car. City officials can also change the dynamic-pricing indicators with just a single click, especially if an event is taking place. In other words, smart parking makes demand-responsive pricing management a lot easier and more efficient.

4. Improved User Experience and Reduced Management Costs
From empty parking spot identification to online payment, drivers will be able to perform all of these actions on the go once a smart parking solution is in place. Such a system will also improve safety regulations. In addition, parking lot owners can offer discounts to recurring customers during festive seasons and holidays. As a result, the overall user experience will improve, resulting in increased revenue for parking lot owners.

The system also uses various modern payment gateways, such as online payment, payment via mobile apps, and credit card payments at the point of sale. In fact, Lintech and other companies have developed credit card readers specifically designed to facilitate rapid payment processing at parking lots. The integrated payment system also reduces dependence on manual activity, reducing management costs—which, in turn, reduces traffic congestion at a parking lot's entrance.

5. Optimized Parking
With the help of a smart parking system, you can fill up a parking lot to its fullest efficiency. Most drivers are unlikely to drive to the far end of a parking lot in search of a vacant spot, because they don't want to waste money and time. However, a smart parking system can tell them how far away a spot is, and even let them reserve it without leaving their car. The system will also send an alert if it detects parking violations and suspicious activities. Thus, commercial and private lot owners can utilize parking spaces efficiently, thereby significantly increasing revenue.

6. Real-Time Data Analysis
Smart parking uses real-time monitoring and control of available parking spaces. Real-time data analysis can result in huge financial benefits to drivers and parking lot owners alike, as it improves parking in the long run. The system can gather valuable information, including the amount of traffic during different hours of the day, preferred parking spots and overall customer behavior. Parking lot owners can use this data to improve their brand image and service quality. License plate recognition cameras can collect information about a car owner, helping you to identify stolen or misplaced vehicles. Thus, it will not only increase a parking lot owner's revenue, but also improve safety measures.

Finding a suitable parking space is one of the fastest-growing problems in most urban areas, in both developed and developing countries. The ever-increasing number of private vehicles on the streets will only worsen the situation in the years to come. Smart parking systems, however, can prove to be a game-changer in this regard. Such systems, in fact, can save both money and time, while reducing air pollution significantly. Hopefully, going through these six points will help you understand the significance of smart parking systems in densely populated urban areas.

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