Connectivity and IoT are both concepts that are increasingly playing a major role in parking.
In order to learn more, we enlisted the help of Jan-Erik Sandberg, Chief Technology Officer of Q-Free and started with how he believes that connectivity can ease parking pain.
"One of the hurdles consumers still have in the market is the lack of connectivity, not only from devices and sensors to ensure (they receive) updated parking availability but also the lack of connected systems between different locations and even locations owned by separate entities. For the consumer, this means they have to spend time looking for available parking as well as having to struggle to figure out expected costs of their parking. For operators, this lack of a connected system means they might not be able to get the best utilization of their locations. For free parking scenarios, this results in the locations not providing the optimal benefit as expected. For paid scenarios, this means that dynamic pricing and the ability to market available spaces is really hard to do. When connecting consumers’ vehicles, devices and systems, a lot of opportunities open up for both operators and consumers.
We are getting closer and closer to the fact that smart devices and vehicles will make decisions on parking without inclusion of a human. Connectivity is a key factor in modern behavior to date and is an enabler for future scenarios".
With the continual expansion of connectivity and IoT, we wanted to know how Jan-Erik believed they would work on a large scale.
"First of all (with) connected devices, IoT or not, require a lot from operators and vendors when it comes to reliability, scalability and cost. Those who are not able to operate on the scale needed will have a really hard time. Being part of the modern solution to make large scale connectivity possible will require a much more collaborative and less protective approach than many are doing at this point (in time). In order to succeed, operators and vendors will have to partner up on a broader scale; all this while protecting and even increasing revenue streams".
Finally, we asked Jan-Erik what new projects we could expect from Q-Free.
"Our goal is to be part of the larger eco system and provide customers and partners with the best possible platform for integration of devices, sensors and systems. Late last year we proudly put the Q-Free Hub into the market. Q-Free Hub has already proven to be able to deliver connected solutions in a very short time to market, as well as enabling for brand new scenarios. We are rolling out parking projects based on the Q-Free Hub for several large scale customers in our home markets in the US and Europe. However, as an effect of our focus on subscription-based models, we are happy to see we have a cost level and limited need for upfront investment, which is attractive to smaller organizations. So, when looking at our project pipeline you will not only see the larger projects but also the smaller projects where we are enabling the same advanced connectivity for operators with limited reach".
We would like to thank Jan-Erik and Q-Free for their contribution and look forward to seeing their future developments.
See the discussion with Jan-Erik here:
Q-Free is a leading global supplier of class-leading Tolling, Parking, Traffic Management and Connected ITS (C-ITS)/Connected Vehicle solutions. To us, a society with less congestion, pollution and accidents is achievable through smart and innovative transportation solutions. Our Parking Guidance systems are installed in over 350+ locations globally at airports, hospitals, convention centers, universities, transit stations, employee garages etc. reducing the hassle and traffic caused by drivers looking for parking, consequently helping the environment by reducing the carbon footprint. With one of the most flexible system approaches in the market, ranging from individual space sensor installations to budget friendlier per garage level/total space count installations, Q-Free can satisfy any customer requirement.