INNOVATIVE PARKING CONCEPTS: AREAS OF APPLICATION AND EXAMPLES

Digitalization does not stop at the issue of parking. In recent years, a number of innovative concepts have been developed for parking spaces that are designed to ensure efficient utilization and a better user experience.

Before a parking space operator decides on a concept, it is important to analyze which aspects are particularly relevant to the respective parking space and what the goals of such a concept are.

New parking concepts are needed

Especially in urban areas parking is a real problem. The average German motorist looks for a parking space41 hours a year. This means 1.9 billion lost hours, plus 3.2 billion liters of fuel used to find a parking space. All in all, the costs incurred in the search for a parking space amount to 40.4 billion euros annually. Intelligent concepts that solve this problem are therefore in demand from both urban and municipal as well as commercial parking lot operators.

Fields of application of parking concepts

Parking space concepts are mostly used when a parking area is newly created or is to be restructured:

  • Development areas
    Regardless of whether it is residential or commercial real estate: New parking spaces are usually created when a new building is constructed. This is where the Parking Space Ordinance comes into play, which stipulates how many parking spaces must be created. But there are also alternative concepts, such as neighborhood garages. In many cases, it can be worthwhile to rely on an innovative parking space concept that uses digital possibilities from the very beginning.
  • Cities and municipalities
    In inner city locations and other already densely built-up areas, the number of parking spaces can be difficult to convert according to the parking space ordinance, which means that high redemption payments must be made. Parking spaces are often scarce here, so that those looking for parking space contribute significantly to the traffic load. Many cities and municipalities therefore decide to rethink the parking concept and rely on innovative solutions.
  • Company parking spaces
    Many companies, especially if they are located outside the city center, provide parking spaces for their employees and customers. However, these are often used inefficiently. This is especially true for employee parking spaces that are permanently allocated to certain employees. If these employees are not on site, for example because they are on vacation, their parking spaces are empty, while other employees may have been on the waiting list for a long time and may not have a parking space at their workplace. In this case, too, an innovative parking concept can be the solution and lead to an efficient utilization of the parking spaces.

riding bike in a park

Figure 1: New development areas in particular require smart and innovative concepts.

Examples for parking concepts

In the following, some examples of parking space concepts will be presented:

Neumarkt i.d.OPf.

Neumarkt i.d.OPf. has developed a parking concept for the old town. The reason for the reorganization was a confusing multitude of different parking regulations, which partly led to an overload of the existing parking space, although analyses showed that there was sufficient parking space available. The new clear management system reserves the street space for residents and short-term parkers, while long-term parkers are directed to peripheral parking areas and parking facilities by means of appropriate incentives.

Frankfurt a. M.

Frankfurt a. M. has renewed its parking space concepts at the following locations, among others:

  • Bolongarostraße: This street should be calmed down and redesigned. In terms of parking space management, the needs of the residents as well as of the local stores and restaurants are to be given priority here. Non-local long-term parkers and commuters, on the other hand, will park at other locations.
  • Bethanien Hospital: In addition to the parking area, the access to the hospital is to be optimized.

Telefónica

With support fromParkHere, Telefónica has optimized the utilization of its employee parking spaces. With the help of an app-based booking system, employees can reserve parking spaces when needed. Unused parking spaces can also be booked online at short notice. Automatic license plate recognition makes it easier to enter the parking lot. Afterwards, employees are automatically directed to their free parking space, eliminating the need to search for a parking space. More information about the implementation can be found in our White Paper.

Using innovations efficiently

Mobility and especially parking management offers a multitude of innovations. Not all of them are suitable for every parking situation. Parking space managers should analyze in advance which parking concept makes sense for the available parking space and which innovations are worth an investment.

Hardware

Innovative hardware enables a smooth handling of parkers in multi-storey and underground parking lots. In addition, sensors can automatically detect whether and how long a parking space is occupied. The following hardware innovations have established themselves on the market in recent years:

  • Smart access management: Terminals and barriers have become smart today. This makes it possible to use automatic license plate recognition. This can provide easy and fast access in both residents’ and employees’ garages and contribute to smooth entry and exit.
  • Sensors: Both established companies such as Bosch and various start-ups offer various sensors that automatically detect whether a parking space is occupied. Various technologies are currently on the market, including ground sensors and radar sensors.

Software

Various software and apps offer the possibility to digitalize parking management. Companies can, for example, provide their employees with an app that can be used to book parking spaces. In cities, apps can be used to direct drivers to the next available parking space and to process payment.

Individually develop a parking space concept

Anyone who wants to implement an innovative parking concept as the operator of a parking area should proceed systematically – regardless of whether it is a new construction or the restructuring of an existing parking area.

  • What is the goal when introducing a parking management system?
  • What is the current goal for parking?
  • How high is the utilization of the parking spaces?
  • Which problems are to be solved?

Identify problems

For example, is the utilization of parking spaces inefficient, such as when there are many empty parking spaces in the company while at the same time employees are not given a parking space? Or is the situation rather tense because there is not enough parking space for everyone? Does the rush hour possibly cause traffic jams?

concept of service

Illustration 2: Extract from a ParkHere mobility concept – Identification of workload, problems and potentials.

Use of previous systems

Which terminals, sensors, software and other components are currently used? Are there potentially innovative and smart solutions that are compatible with current systems? This could mean a considerable cost saving compared to a complete new equipment. What has proven to be effective? Which systems can be used together with the new system?

  • Planning of new systems
    In which areas is a new system necessary? For example, does the company’s reservation system need to be revised?
  • Billing options
    Many providers, for example ParkHere, offer practical complete solutions for companies, which automate the accounting to a large extent and thus reduce the personnel and time expenditure.
  • Profitability calculation
    The introduction of a new parking concept always means an investment. Therefore, at the beginning of such a changeover there should be a corresponding profitability calculation to compare the potential expenditure with the possible added value.

Conclusion: parking space concepts must be adapted to the parking situation

The parking situation in cities or on company parking lots can change at any time, making it necessary to adapt the parking concept. Efficient parking concepts can make a decisive contribution to reducing parking pressure. They are usually very extensive and should therefore be implemented under the guidance of appropriate experts. Anyone who decides to invest in new technologies and innovations should analyze this in detail in advance to ensure that the investment is worthwhile in the long term.