Increase in connected devices has major ramifications for parking industry
The exponential increase in technology and connected devices will have major ramifications for how the parking and transit industries operate and serve customers, the head of an Atlanta-based technology company told trade show attendees.
According to technology research firm Gartner, there are an estimated 4.9 billion “connected things” in use in 2015. That’s an increase of 30 percent from 2014, and the number is slated to rise to a staggering 25 billion by 2020.
Technology can be used to more effectively track parking space inventory and balance supply and demand, Mitch Skyer, president of Passio Technologies, said during a presentation at the New York State Parking Association’s Annual Conference in Buffalo, N.Y. While the use of technology within the industry has manifested itself in the form of smart space counters and pay by cell phone, the industry has only scratched the surface of what’s possible, he added.
“The potential exists to almost completely eliminate wasteful trolling for parking spaces, traffic congestion, bottlenecks and empty lots and decks during peak periods,” Skyer said during the show. “Every individual’s arrival, departure and on site movement needs can be catalogued, diagrammed and planned for maximum efficiency.
“The amount of time that could be saved could change lives and natural resources could be conserved at unprecedented levels,” he added. “But even more importantly, technology can be used to keep motorists safe and reduce the number of accidents that occur in parking lots.”
Skyer presented his perspective as part of a seminar titled “Put Some Clothes on, The Internet of Everything is at the Door…”
Municipal, university and private parking operators should start using analytics to move beyond the physical needs of parkers and passengers, Skyer said. But, he acknowledged deploying this approach will require hardware upgrades to handle the increased levels of data that will be required, moving from terabytes today to petabytes, zettabytes and yottabytes tomorrow.
“Parking sensors will talk to hydrant sensors, which will interact with street lights, traffic lights and traffic cameras to create a safer, cleaner and more people-friendly environment,” Skyer said. “The challenge of managing all of this data and translating it into a usable and actionable format will be the driving force of the industry for the next decade.”
He added: “Understanding and managing privacy expectations and balancing that with the need for increased data and information about people’s activities will require diplomacy and creativity.”