Smart City

Smart City Sentinel

Can More Efficient Parking Systems Improve Quality of Life in Large Cities?

By Juhi Fadia

Smart parking is one of the fastest growing Smart City Solutions across the world. Automated parking technology, defined as the ability to connect, analyze and automate data gathered from devices, powered by the IoT, is what makes smart parking possible.

Smart Parking uses low-cost sensors combined with real-time data and applications that allow users to monitor availability of parking spots. While the basic versions of smart parking solutions enable drivers to find open spots, more advanced solutions include online payments, parking time notifications and location-based services, so drivers can find their cars in large lots or garages.

Well-known benefits include optimized parking enabling drivers to find the best spots efficiently, reduced traffic as fewer cars are required to drive around in search of open spaces, reduced carbon emissions, and enhanced customer experience – especially when payments are integrated.

Over time, smart parking systems can produce data invaluable to lot owners, who can create more competitive offerings and save on labor costs when they understand peak times and trends more clearly.

This month, Cleverciti Systems, which develops high-tech solutions for outdoor and on-street parking detection, monitoring, and guidance, expanded its core team and appointed David Parker as its Chief Operating Officer. Parker, who has held senior-level roles and advisory positions with a wide range of high-growth tech businesses, is joining the company to help scale its technology and drive more growth.

Parker was associated with Cox Automotive, as COO of Modix, the leading global automotive digital marketing solution. At Modix, he led the expansion of the business across more than 60 countries. Parker’s academic credentials include MBAs from Columbia University and London Business School and a B.S. in Information Technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

"When I met the Cleverciti team, I was immediately struck by their passion for improving quality of life by reducing pollution and traffic,” said Parker. “Approximately 30% of traffic in cities is the result of a parking search, which can be eliminated largely through the adoption of Cleverciti’s platform. Climate change is the crisis of our time, and we need solutions like Cleverciti to reduce emissions dramatically.”

We asked Parker to share his vision for advanced smart parking systems with us, and here’s what he had to say.

Which cities are leading in offering smart parking solutions?

We have seen a number of cities around the world implementing cutting-edge smart parking solutions, including Cleverciti’s innovative parking sensor and guidance solutions. A few of the recent examples include: Banff in Canada, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Berlin in Germany, and Bad Hersfeld, which is near Frankfurt, Germany.

What can we learn from those deployments?

We have seen incredible benefits in cities that have implemented smart parking solutions. Approximately 30 percent of urban traffic is the result of drivers looking for a parking spot; so, solutions that reduce or eliminate the parking search have a direct impact on quality of life and our environment. Organizations have seen significant reductions in parking search traffic and emissions, and higher consumer satisfaction from retail shoppers. While these outcomes may not be surprising, we have also seen increased parking revenues as a result of implementing Cleverciti solutions, due to both drivers being more likely to pay for parking in exchange for receiving good service and from more efficient filling of the available parking spaces.

How are smart parking initiatives being funded – privately, publicly or a combination of the two?

Recently, we have seen a wide variety of funding models, reinforcing both how new these solutions are, and how many stakeholders receive benefits from implementing smart parking solutions. Funding comes from the city, the utility that owns the light poles where smart parking solutions can be mounted, from regional or federal subsidies, and through realizing increased parking revenues. It is important for smart city companies like Cleverciti to be flexible in how they work with a city or parking facility.

What enhancements can we look forward to from Clevericiti?

Cleverciti has recently launched the ClevericitiCard and the CIRC360. The card enables location sensing, wayfinding, digital permits and frictionless payment. Before introducing the Card, Cleverciti’s solutions to reduce traffic and emissions were limited to on-street and surface lot applications. With the Card, we have extended Cleverciti’s solutions suite to cover nearly any parking model, including garages.

The CIRC360 is an innovative screen that allows for a combination of smart city data, messaging, and advertising. The screen wraps around existing lamp posts, allowing for quick and easy installation, and clear communications of critical data, such as guiding a driver to the nearest space.

How does Cleverciti work with smart city ecosystems?

Open collaboration and support for modern interoperability standards is crucial in today’s Smart City environments. At the pole, we are integrated with light management systems such as Itron. We use a wide variety of communications technologies, from Itron’s network to existing WiFi or LTE. We were built from the ground up to run through the cloud, enabling open REST APIs that can be used to integrate with any third party. Also, as one of the primary communications devices, the CIRC360 can display far more than parking data: for example, it can report on air quality values as reported by third party sensors, display advertising, or even emergency messaging to ensure real-time communications between a city and its inhabitants.

IoT Evolution Expo, taking place February 11-14, 2020 in Ft. Lauderdale, will feature four days of content focusing on the value of IoT and how all parts of the IoT ecosystem can benefit and drive the market forward.  Part of the TechSuperShow, IoT Evolution features collocated events the Industrial IoT Conference, the Smart City Event, and the Intelligent Edge Expo, collectively offering a comprehensive experience for anyone looking to learn how IoT is creating new opportunities.


Juhi Fadia is an engineer, analyst, researcher and writer covering advanced and emerging technologies.

Edited by Erik Linask

Correspondent

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