It’s estimated that there over 2 billion parking spaces surrounding US businesses today. The good news is that parking technology today is so advanced, that companies can manage these spaces efficiently. If customers have a positive experience before they ever set foot inside your doors, they’ll be sure to come back for more.
You can learn more here on 10 different types of parking equipment available today. Choose the right system and watch your profits grow!
Why is Parking Important for Business?
If you’re in business, you know that customer service actually begins the moment your customer sets foot on your property. If your customers can’t easily reach your front doors, they’re more likely to take their business to your competitor that’s less of a hassle to reach.
Research shows that about 93 percent of business leaders believe that the availability of parking spaces close to their buildings directly impacts their earnings. That’s why it’s essential for companies to have enough parking space to meet their customer’s needs. Parking lot proximity, as well as security, will play a major role in whether your customers will stay and do business with you.
Accessible parking is also important for your onsite employees as well. Access to nearby parking will also ensure that your staff feels safe leaving their car parked there. Close parking can also cut down on their late arrivals to their jobs.
Some businesses have adopted a philosophy called “parking as a service.” This theory is built upon the principle that merchants should find ways to improve the customer’s parking experience as a part of their overall customer service model. The goal is to make sure patrons can arrive and depart easily.
Parking Options Available
Business leaders can choose from two primary formats for parking:
On-street parking refers to parking vehicles directly on the street. Cars are parked along street curbs as opposed to inside a parking lot. On-street parking can also enable a faster flow of customers in and out of your business
On street parking can be safe and cost-effective for business owners. Maintenance and compliance enforcement are provided by local government. This system also leads to less traffic congestion and safer roads for your employees and customers to travel.
Off-street parking refers to parking your vehicle anywhere but on the street. Off-street parking can be either indoors and outdoors. Examples of off-street parking include driveways, garages and private parking lots.
Off-street parking may attract more customers to your business. If safe and convenient off-street parking is close by, it may improve their overall customer experience. Parking lots and garages offer numerous spaces that are easily accessible and cut down on walking distances to reach your establishment.
Standard parking spaces are nine feet wide and eighteen feet long. Parking spaces inside garages and parking lots are ten feet wide and twenty feet long. Compact parking spaces are eight feet wide and sixteen feet long.
What is Parking Technology?
Parking technology or “smart parking” is a strategy that uses technology to park vehicles quickly and easily. Smart parking aims to minimize fuel, space and time consumption to park cars more efficiently.
Smart parking uses sensor technologies and other innovations to create adaptable parking configurations. When data analytics and algorithms are combined, business owners can optimize space and help traffic flow more freely.
Some examples of these types of off-street smart parking systems include:
1. Automated Parking Systems
Automated parking systems (APS) are designed to reduce the amount of area needed for parking cars. Sometimes these systems are called robotic valet services. APS systems stack cars on multiple vertical levels to minimize the amount of space used.
APS lasers scan vehicles for their size and weight. Vehicles are transported by a robotic dolly that lifts and shifts them onto storage racks.
APS systems can deliver cars back to their owners within three to five minutes. APS systems can store four times as many cards that can fit into traditional garages.
2. Self-Driving Parking Lots
Self-driving parking lots are those areas where self-parking car models use their advanced technology to park themselves. Drivers still control the vehicle’s speed as they maneuver the car into position. Sensors and an on-board computer system turns the wheel to maneuver the vehicle into final position.
Self-driving parking lots can help improve space efficiency as well. Some parking stalls are compromised if a driver parks their own car too crookedly. Self-parking cars can adapt to these driver mistakes and squeeze into smaller spaces.
3. Flat Rate Gated Systems
Flat rate gated systems come with parking lot gates that allows drivers to pay a flat parking fee when they enter or leave the parking lot. Flat rate gated systems tend to be cheaper because they include only one parking kiosk for the one lane needed to enter the property. This kind of parking lot equipment is an effective way for lot owners to begin charging fees for parking.
4. Full Featured Gated Systems
These parking systems are helpful when a time-based rate is present. Driver’s are charged a fee based on the vehicle’s amount of time parked in the lot. This time rate is based on a fee by the minute or by the hour. With these systems there is a parking kiosk at the lot’s entrance and another at the exit from the property.
5. Surveillance Cameras
Parking lot electronic surveillance cameras are another smart choice to add to your off-site parking amenities. This type of parking equipment is a part of a closed circuit television system that transmits signals from a specific place to a set of monitors.
This type of video parking equipment can easily mount to any parking garage structure. Surveillance cameras are routinely connected to recording equipment or an IP network to that can be viewed by security personnel.
Smart Parking Meters
One effective piece of parking equipment for off-site parking is the Smart Meter. Smart meters have a sensor that can monitor every car parked in that particular space. They also have microprocessors that track coins and allow motorists to program a requested amount of time for parking.
There are three primary models of Smart Parking Meters:
6. Pay & Display
Drivers select and pay for their requested parking time. These Smart Meters print a ticket for the driver to display in their windshield. Law enforcement will note these tickets and write citations for any vehicle parked beyond their allotted time.
7. Pay By Space
These smart meters work similarly to the pay and display models. Driver’s select and pay for their requested parking time and also enter the parking space number found on the ground or garage wall. The smart meter prints a ticket for the driver to display in their windshield.
8. Pay By License
These smart meters require drivers to enter their license plate numbers as well as their space number and requested parking time. Once the driver displays the ticket in their windshield, law enforcement can confirm the license plate and check the time. This model prevents drivers from sharing parking space with other vehicles.
Mobile parking applications have transformed the ways customers can locate, reserve and pay for parking. Using these apps can help motorists avoid unwanted fines. Customers with smartphones can now benefit from the following parking app models.
9. Payment/Time Extension Apps
These apps allow drivers to pay for parking by smartphone. They also allow drivers to remotely increase time on their meter from distant locations. Company parking officials can easily follow how many spaces are used electronically.
10. Parking Maps
Parking map apps is a convenient way for businesses to offer current parking availability information to their customers. Merchants can program their website’s to show this information that’s updated automatically.
If you’re a business owner, are you ready to put parking technology to work for you? Based on the physical layout of your property, you need to decide if you’re ready to upgrade any on or off-street parking capabilities.
If you have off-street parking space, consider investing in either a flat rate or fixed rate gated system. These systems can allow for smoother flowing traffic and assure customers that their vehicles are safe. Don’t forget to program your business website to display real-time information on parking space availability.
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