Digital signage systems for parking lots is not the sort of thing that’s going to set the hearts of industry people racing, but there’s reason to pat attention to this use-case because of the way these very utilitarian venues are going smart.
A recent piece in SmartCitiesWorld news suggests smart parking solutions are on a big uptick, and that there are many, many parking lots out there that would benefit from tech that makes finding parking spaces in busy urban environments easier.
A report from IoT Analytics suggest about 11% of public parking spaces globally (on-street and off-street) are now smart, and the figure is expected to increase to 16 per cent by 2023. The analysis predicts that market spending on smart parking products and services will grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 14 per cent and reach at least $3.8 billion by 2023.
The pitch with smart parking technology is that it enables parking lot/garage operators to remotely and automatically monitor parking occupancy rates in real-time. That’s done by things like vehicle detection sensors; cameras with automated vehicle licence plate recognition capabilities; smart parking meters; and smart payment for parking.
Something has to show occupancy rate, and that falls to either low-resolution LED signs or LCD displays that can provide a richer image and also do things like up-sell things like concierge parking, vehicle cleaning, monthly and corporate rate, as well as directions and guidance.
These parking lot sensors are spitting out a lot of analytics that can inform content decisions for the screens, or trigger content. For example, if a lot is full, most motorists would love advice and real-time data on nearby lots that Do have available spots.
That data can also provide insights for everyone from city engineers and plannings to retail developers about where people go, what they use, when and so on.
“Parking is an area where IoT sensor technology is making a tremendous difference – both for the user experience as well as for parking space management and enforcement,” says Knud Lasse Lueth, IoT Analytics Managing Director, in the report: “Whether you look at New York, San Francisco, Berlin or London, most major cities, especially in Europe and in the US, have started to deploy various new smart parking solutions in the last five years. Most of these installations now use a combination of vehicle detection sensors, pay-by-app options and, in some cases, navigation assistance.”
“Our research shows that the penetration rate of these smart parking spaces is still quite low,” he adds, “but solutions are popping up in most major cities now – another proof of how pervasive and important IoT technology has become.”
Montreal has a great example of how smart parking solutions are tied into LED signs located at key intersections, guiding motorists in the central business district and old city to available parking garages and updating information by the minute.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.