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The Future of Smart Parking in the Cities of Tomorrow

The average driver in the US spends 17 hours per year looking for parking, which translates to paying an extra $345 per driver on gas, emissions, and wasted time. In cities like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, these numbers are even higher. It’s also estimated that roughly 30% of cars circling a city at any given time are looking for a parking spot, which adds a lot of vehicles to the traffic problem. A solution to the parking problem can be found with Internet of Things (IoT) integrations and smart parking applications.

Sensors or cameras placed in the ground, on buildings, or on light poles can signal where parking is available. If there is a spot open close by, the sensor can relay this information to a cloud-based smart parking application, and a driver who is searching for a place to park will have a spot quickly. Essentially, these sensors create real-time parking maps in busy cities, which removes circling cars from congested areas.

smart parking in smart cities

The benefits of IoT-based parking

The benefits for the driver are clear: less circling and faster parking. Using an app, drivers can quickly find a parking spot instead of driving around or paying high parking rates at a garage. This saves the driver time, fuel, and money.

IoT can also help law enforcement. Local businesses continuously complain about drivers parking in loading docks or restricted areas. Law enforcement can use a type of smart parking platform to find parking violations and enforce citations as well. Not only will this appease locals who are annoyed at drivers for parking in prohibited areas, but it will also increase parking fines which help cities pay for necessary expenses.

Cities benefit from IoT-based parking first and foremost because it reduces congestion. From air pollution to traffic-based accidents, there are plenty of reasons why cities want to get cars parked faster. Furthermore, if law enforcement finds more parking violations, local fines will help pay bills within the city itself. Cities will also have a better understanding of whether or not they need to open more parking options as they will have a city-wide map of parking spaces. They can then use this information to prepare for big events when more parking is needed.

Much can be done with IoT “smart parking” and cities, drivers, and law enforcement are all set to benefit from its implementation. Areas that invest in this technology will enjoy less congestion and likely fewer accidents on the road, which makes for better city living for all.


Case Study: IoT is redefining the customer experience. Nokia case study.

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