It is 2023. It is time for drivers to embrace digital parking.

New technology and innovations in the parking industry means it is now finally catching up with the wider digital world in which we live and these changes can only be of benefit to us all.

New technology and innovations in the parking industry

New technology and innovations in the parking industry means it is now finally catching up with the wider digital world in which we live and these changes can only be of benefit to us all. 

We live in a dynamic world where it feels like we are discovering new technology and innovations on a weekly basis. However, in the UK parking industry change and innovation has not been something that has been embraced or accelerated as quickly as we should have. We only need to look at the furore around the removal of pay & display machines in car parks to see that! 

Finally, however, we can really start to see the future of parking more clearly. Archaic systems within our industry are starting to make way for new digital innovation - here are a few reasons why this is a good thing. 

Where it was all going wrong

For far too long, parking in the UK has been synonymous with frustration and inconvenience. The traditional approach, relying on physical ticketing systems and manual processes, has been unable to cope with the mounting demands of an ever-evolving urban landscape. Drivers, merchants, and municipalities alike have grappled with the impact of inadequate or simply old parking infrastructure, soaring congestion levels, and the never-ending search for a parking spot.

These challenges have not only impeded economic growth but also contributed to environmental issues, as cars circle around, emitting pollutants while looking for elusive parking spaces. And let’s be clear, we don’t need to build more car parks for more parking - that will not solve these issues. We need smarter parking solutions. 

A change has been long overdue. We need to breathe new life into the world of parking and unlock the potential for a seamless, efficient, and eco-friendly solution.

The Digital Revolution Unfolds

Enter the digital revolution of parking and improved ways for us to interact with urban spaces. Digital technology, coupled with innovative platforms like JustPark, have brought parking via apps and in-car services to the fingertips of drivers and businesses, forever changing the face of this essential aspect of urban living.

Ground-breaking innovation by Parkopedia, supported by Innovate UK, has helped progress research in autonomous parking and we’ve also seen the creation of Indoor Parking Maps to support autonomy without the need for GPS - which is often poor within concrete structures.

APCOA have also started converting their car parks into Urban Mobility Hubs to expand their offering beyond parking to EV charging, last-mile delivery, micro-mobility stations, power generation, urban farming and much much more.

Embracing a user-centric approach, the digitisation of parking aims to eradicate the hurdles of the past and streamline the parking experience for everyone involved. By harnessing the power of mobile applications, cloud computing, and real-time data analytics, the parking landscape is becoming more connected, intelligent, responsive, and accessible. 

Benefits for Drivers

For drivers, the transition to digital parking is nothing short of a game-changer. A recent TechInsights survey of nearly 5,000 drivers globally, cited that details of parking space availability has overtaken traffic information as the top requested in-car connected service for drivers.

Imagine a world where you no longer have to circle the block in a desperate search for a vacant parking space. Through JustPark and other pioneering platforms, drivers can now locate, reserve, and pay for parking spots with a few taps on their smartphones. And at JustPark, we also recently launched in-car products compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, iOS Voice, and Android Voice Access; meaning drivers can effortlessly locate and instantly book parking spaces exactly when and where they need them.

Real-time availability updates and intelligent routing suggestions optimise the journey, reducing stress and congestion while saving time and ever spiralling fuel costs. Moreover, digital payments eliminate the need for cash or physical tickets, making parking a seamless part of the urban experience.

Empowering Local Businesses

Local businesses, previously grappling with parking constraints, now find themselves empowered with smart parking solutions. By partnering with parking apps, businesses can efficiently manage their parking spaces, optimise utilisation, and attract more customers.

Furthermore, car parking spaces are better marketed via apps to drivers who might not be familiar with their spaces - whether a public car park, local business or private driveways with empty spaces. Apps can increase their visibility and attract more bookings and therefore revenue. By not embracing innovation, car parks risk missing out on potential customers and revenue growth.

Whilst digitisation allows for dynamic pricing models, tailored promotions, push notifications and so forth. Meaning businesses can strike a balance between supply and demand, driving foot traffic and boosting revenues. This symbiotic relationship between businesses and parking platforms fosters economic growth, as thriving establishments fuel vibrant communities.

Cities of the Future

The vision of smart cities is no longer a distant dream; it is fast becoming a reality with digital parking leading the charge. Cities are embracing data-driven decisions, leveraging insights from the massive pool of parking data to optimise traffic flow, reduce congestion, and mitigate environmental impacts.

Municipalities are utilising this power of real-time data to identify areas with high parking demand and take strategic measures to alleviate bottlenecks. Implementing smart parking policies helps reduce circling traffic, which in turn cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality.

Sustainable and Eco-friendly

Beyond the realms of convenience and efficiency, the digital transformation of parking holds the promise of sustainability. By optimising parking utilisation, we reduce the need for constructing more parking spaces, curbing urban sprawl and preserving green spaces.

The adoption of electric vehicles is also receiving a significant boost through digital parking platforms. Charging station locations can be integrated seamlessly into navigation systems, encouraging the transition to eco-friendly transportation and fostering a greener urban environment.

The Road Ahead

As we all start to embrace this digital future of parking, there becomes even bigger and bolder opportunities. Parking is intrinsic to our infrastructure and we must continue to explore ways to enhance the user experience that also makes sense for the industry.  The world of technology is ever evolving, and so too must our parking solutions as we all embrace a smarter approach. 

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