If your parking garage is big enough to get lost in, you may be interested in learning more about PGS at a free webinar, 11 a.m. Thursday, April 20.
This presentation focuses on the implementation of PGS at airports. Yet many of the same decision points for airports apply to other high-volume parking facilities, such as medical centers, sports arenas and shopping centers.
If you’re contemplating a PGS for your facility or you just want to know more about the concept, this seminar will help clarify the benefits and considerations involved. The event is co-sponsored by Airport Improvement Magazine and Park Assist, a PGS solutions provider.
What is a Parking Guidance System?
A PGS is designed to quickly and conveniently route a customer to the nearest available parking space. Each parking space is monitored by a sensor, which detects whether a vehicle is present or not. Sensor technologies vary and include ultrasonic detection, infrared projection, magnetic induction and camera-based video imaging.
The status of each space is then relayed to a central computer. However, the type of sensor arrayed will dictate what other data can be transmitted beyond simply whether a space is empty or available. This additional data might include whether the vehicle is a car or motorcycle, if it is properly parked within the lines of the parking space and license plate information.
For all PGS regardless of sensor type, a central computer uses data analytics and artificial intelligence, to create a custom pathway for the customer to the closest parking space. It accomplishes this by lighting a sequence of directional arrows and colored lights to lead the driver to the highlighted space. If the space is taken by another driver, the system remaps the course.
First generation systems were competent to provide basic vehicle guidance and facility usage data. In parking systems consisting of several parking facilities, the availability of parking can be displayed on the roadway, enabling customers to select their desired facility and/or to know which facilities are full.
Depending on the configuration of the solution, these early systems could also produce occupancy statistics by individual space. This allows owners and managers to identify spaces in high demand.
“Next Gen” systems still provide these baseline benefits, but offer much more. Some systems offer video-based security surveillance and vehicle location services utilizing Automatic Plate Number Recognition (ANPR) software.
ANPR can also allow the identification of individual users, which can be linked to a rewards program, for example. In addition, a newer PGS can be integrated with revenue collection to allow premium pricing for individual spaces and to vary prices by time of day, or day of week.
What are the Benefits?
A PGS offers a number of unique features and benefits to customers as well as owners and managers of parking facilities. These may vary widely according to the sensor technology and software deployed. Not all sensor types allow every benefit. But a PGS potentially can:
- Network via the cloud with mobile-based apps to provide trip planning information for travelers;
- Provide customers with dynamic, decision-making information on parking space availability from a roadway, prior to entering a facility;
- Enhance customer service by easing the stress of finding a parking space inside a facility;
- Diminsh “cruising” for an available space, which in turn reduces congestion and carbon emissions;
- Improve traffic circulation inside and outside the facility, by allowing drivers to find parking quickly;
- Allow management to determine actual space turnover and average stay by space;
- Enable dynamic pricing by space or area and the establishment of “premium” spaces or zones;
- Decrease wear and tear on infrastructure, such as pavement and ventilation systems, generated by cruising;
- Heighten security by providing active surveillance of parking areas;
- Link a vehicle’s license plate number to the space in which it is parked, making it easy to find a car that is “lost”; and
- Identify “frequent parkers” by license number, which data can be used in loyalty rewards program.
Parking Guidance Systems are becoming a key component of what has been termed the “vertical integration of the parking experience”. Customers can now reserve parking online, find a parking space (even a specific space that might be reserved especially for them) and then pay remotely without interacting with a parking cashier.
Please note that the H2H2H Foundation has prepared a free case study on the recent installation of a PGS at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL). This paper includes commentary by industry experts and the FLL staff as well.
You can access this paper here. You do need to register on our site (also free) to download this white paper, which is entitled, Please Find My Car: A New Generation of Parking Guidance Systems Now Being Deployed.
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