Solving city woes: Building a sustainable tomorrow with automated parking technologies | Autocar Professional

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As India undergoes rapid urbanisation and population growth, concerns over parking space scarcity in metropolitan cities continue to escalate. Across cities such as Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai, recognised as some of the world’s most congested areas from a traffic perspective, the competition for limited parking spaces has reached a critical point. According to an IBM report, the average Indian driver spends a significant 20 minutes every day searching for parking, leading to immeasurable productivity loss.

The surge in vehicle numbers, driven by an increase in car purchases, has intensified the demand for parking spaces. Compounding this challenge is outdated city infrastructure originally designed for a fraction of the current vehicle volume. The lack of enforcement of parking laws has resulted in widespread illegal parking on roads and public spaces, further exacerbating the problem. Insufficient public transport options and the absence of effective parking management systems also contribute to the complexity of the issue.

The shortage of proper parking facilities has led to hazardous parking practices, illegal parking in designated no-parking zones, and a lack of stringent traffic regulation enforcement. While the government has implemented measures such as multi-level parking lots and online parking systems, the situation remains far from ideal. Addressing this multifaceted issue requires ongoing and concerted efforts to find sustainable solutions, with technology-driven automated parking emerging as a promising approach.

Driving Convenience and Sustainability through Smart Parking

Smart parking solutions, leveraging technology to automate the parking process, can play a crucial role in evolving an organised, regulated, and easily accessible parking system. Automated multi-level car parking systems offer an innovative solution, optimising space usage and accommodating the same number of cars in a fraction of the area as compared to traditional structures.

Conventional parking structures, with their large and complex buildings, are expensive to build, rendering them inefficient in terms of mobility and sustainability. Research indicates that as vehicles operate at lower speeds, emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases increase, a phenomenon precisely observed when drivers navigate slowly through conventional parking structures to find parking spots.

Contrast this with automated parking systems, which aim to reduce carbon emissions by 20-30%, while simultaneously providing relief to drivers frustrated by city traffic. The elimination of driver aisles and ramps allows for the construction of more efficient and accessible structures as compared to traditional urban parking spaces. Technology plays a pivotal part in the development of automated parking spaces. The integration of IoT into smart parking and automated parking solutions has accelerated the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. Fully functional IoT’s, such as intelligent parking systems, can amass extensive data, covering aspects such as data collection, visualisation, processing, and storage. These advancements represent a promising glimpse into the future, with the potential to significantly enhance the parking infrastructure of cities and states, offering citisens access to high-quality parking spaces. Additionally, these systems contribute to mitigating the ‘heat island effect,’ preventing urban temperatures from reaching unbearable levels.

Towards a New Parking Paradigm

With escalating urbanisation and an increasing number of vehicles on the roads, well-organised parking facilities are imperative for cities and towns. Automated parking systems not only help manage traffic congestion and reduce illegal parking, but also contribute to enhancing the overall urban landscape. Moreover, implementation of effective parking management solutions, including parking meters, multi-level structures, and digital parking systems, can generate substantial revenue for urban local bodies.

Through these technological interventions, governmental authorities and solution providers can work in tandem to foster a more sustainable and efficient parking ecosystem across the country.

Rajesh Kabra, Director, RR Global. Views expressed are of the author. 

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