Strategy of Things: Smart parking is innovative, but what it enables is even more innovative

Strategy of Things: Smart parking is innovative, but what it enables is even more innovative

Smart parking is innovative, but what it enables is even more innovative

Parking and traffic congestion are constant sources of frustration for drivers, merchants, employers and public officials in cities worldwide. For this reason, smart parking services are top of mind with public officials, parking agencies, IT and innovation executives. Many smart city projects incorporate a smart parking element.

Smart parking brings immediate value

In the age of “smart” and the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s easy to see why smart parking solutions are considered innovative. Sensors embedded in the ground, or cameras mounted on light poles or building structures, determine whether the parking spaces are occupied or available. This data is routed wirelessly to a gateway, and relayed to a central cloud-based smart parking platform. It is combined with data from other sensors to create a real time parking map. Drivers use this map on their mobile phones to find parking faster and easier instead of blindly driving around searching (Figure One). Parking control officers use the map to go directly to the parking violations. This improves their citation enforcement effectiveness (Figure Two).

While smart parking solutions improve visibility for drivers and parking enforcement officers, that is not where the real innovation lies. In a previous article, I wrote that IoT innovation is not in the solution. It is in what it allows organizations to become – agile, intelligent, and adaptive.

Smart parking innovation starts with problems

To understand the potential innovation opportunities with smart parking – start with problems. We must understand who is impacted by parking problems and the extent of this impact.

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