The search for parking spaces in cities or underground garages can be very stressful and time-consuming in some cases. To solve this problem, there are different methods and technologies in the growing sector, but each one uses the same term: "Parking Guidance System" (PGS). There are static (without sensors and thus without display of spaces available) and smart parking guidance systems. The following facts tell you what you should look out for and what you should absolutely know about intelligent parking guidance systems:
1. Customers will be delighted
A smart parking guidance system offers important advantages, above all, for the drivers looking for a parking space. The dynamic display of the parking spaces available shows the drivers a quicker way to a suitable parking possibility. In addition, the use of modern and green technologies always leaves a positive impression - shorter driving times also mean a lower environmental impact.
2. Parking guidance system ≠ Parking guidance system
Not all parking guidance systems work in the same way. The display of free parking spaces of parking guidance systems can be based on two different methods: counting or single space detection. As so often, both variants have advantages and disadvantages.
3. Quality is our priority
For some customers, the only criterion for buying is the price. However, there are a few other factors on the subject of parking guidance systems, which should be included into your consideration, such as data transmission speed, service life, accuracy, reliability and service.
4. The indoor area has its own character
Indoor parking systems are well-known for the red / green lights on the ceiling - especially popular at airports, shopping malls or other underground garages with a high parking volume. The already mentioned counting systems (usually in the form of induction loops in the ground or ultrasonic sensors on the ceiling) are somewhat more inconspicuous in car parks. No matter what detection method or technology you are interested in, consider the environmental conditions in parking garages, such as dirt or moisture.
5. The outdoor area has its peculiarities
Municipal parking guidance systems have been around for many years. The car park data are gathered in most cases and then sent via GPRS to the individual displays in the city. Meanwhile, the above-described single space detection has also moved from the indoor to the outdoor application. That means that you can now also individually detect the urban parking areas in the outdoor area. When using sensors, however, you should always observe the environmental conditions, such as time of the day, snow and frost, foliage and dirt, nature.
6. Do not compare apples and oranges
Or in other words: Always check exactly which services are included in the offer of a parking guidance system - and which are not. Some seemingly inexpensive technologies prove to be particularly costly in the installation afterwards, if, for example, large-scale cutting or milling work in the asphalt is necessary for outdoor counting systems, or expensive cables have to be used between the sensors in indoor systems. Therefore, be aware of the total cost of the systems when comparing them and do not forget the above mentioned quality factors.
7. Operators obtain a great added value
If each customer is shown where one of the last hidden parking spaces is located, the probability of actually using all the parking spaces increases. This means that the utilization rate or the number of visitors increases, and in the case of managed parking areas, this also increases the revenue from the parking tickets.
8. Interfaces improve the total system
There are systems that cannot be linked to others and, in part, this is explicitly desired (e.g. stand-alone systems without a PC). However, there are also systems with existing interfaces (e.g., ModBus) - here you can easily integrate other systems (e.g. gas warning systems or barrier systems) into the parking guidance system, or vice versa. High-quality parking guidance systems also offer the possibility to connect to higher-level systems (for example, to the building management technology). The more you can present and operate on a platform, the less time you spend on instructing your employees, and the lower the number of software updates is over the years.
The above tips and facts are based on the experience of MSR-Traffic and on numerous discussions with customers and other stakeholders. This list makes no complain to be complete but is rather to mention relevant topics in this area. For more information, please visit http://www.msr-traffic.de/fileadmin/Media/PDF/2017/msrtr17-8_pr_8_Dinge_E.pdf