The adoption of new technology within the UK parking industry has become omnipresent in recent years as stakeholders attempt to improve operational efficiency and cut costs in view of the current political and economic landscape.
Recent research suggests that embracing new technologies, such as providing alternative payment options for customers, has led to big savings for operators and as such more and more are now turning to cashless parking schemes.
Feedback from the parking workforce has also been extremely positive in cases when new equipment has been mobilised; for example, civil parking officers demonstrate increased levels of aptitude when they are equipped with wireless hand-held devises, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and real-time incident reporting, boosting morale and freeing up staff to focus on other tasks.
As the industry moves towards a more automated future, more technological change is expected to contribute to the development of more agile, responsive and convenient parking services, increasing public perceptions and expectations of the industry.
As parking businesses grapple with the concept of improving efficiency and lowering costs, we take a look at some of the new technologies that are making things easier for customers and bosses.
The parking industry needs to be flexible and offer service users many different ways to pay for their parking, (this is dictated by the marketplace and also by the physical and infrastructure requirements within different car parks). That’s why over the last couple of years industry leaders have been working tirelessly with suppliers to develop cutting-edge solutions.
One established UK kiosk manufacturer, Cammax Limited, have worked tirelessly to develop an extensive range of parking payment machines that enable customers to make transactions quickly and conveniently, removing the need for physical staff and improving customer satisfaction. Self-service kiosks can now be configured to offer a range of chip and pin, coins, notes, and receipt printing options, providing an all-in-one-solution that is easy to manage and helps to reduce overheads.
Utilizing Big Data
Breakthroughs in the utilization of big data have also excited those in charge of parking facilities. The purpose of Big Data is to garner information from numerous sources in an attempt to extract patterns and trends associated with human behaviour. This data is then organised and manipulated and can be used to help develop engaging digital signage.
With length-of-stay info, occupancy statistics and payment processing, the parking sector is very data-rich so cleverly exploiting Big Data opportunities allows businesses to set optimal prices based on availability and other variables relevant to the situation, (i.e. weather events or even flight schedules for airport parking).
Processing information from the received data then enables leaders to establish dynamic pricing strategies, as successfully adopted by companies like Uber.
Improving Customer Experience
Poor parking facilities can ruin the whole experience for drivers but despite this bosses frequently overlook parking when evaluating their customer service offering.
In a move to address customer concerns, touch screens are being deployed to display safety and journey information but also provide timely and targeted promotional messages from retailers and local businesses.
It’s not just in the car park that parking companies can utilise new technology to improve the customer experience either. Online reservation systems are commonly being adopted to allow for a more quick and convenient experience and some systems even incorporate license-place recognition technology that allows quick entry for those who have booked online and reserved a space.