What comes to your mind when you think about smart mobility? Micro mobility such as bikes, e-cars, ride-sharing are buzzwords. Active mobility is essential for cities’ future. There is still a long way to go before these new modes of transport are used exclusively. Cities still have to provide innovative solutions for motorists.
Smart parking plays a crucial role in transforming a city into being more comfortable for living.
New technologies boost a reformation process. Each day all over the world, announcements are made about parking innovations: wireless sensor-based technologies, dynamic messaging, new generation intelligent town planning, provision of real-time parking data, contactless payment, etc.
Some of them are truly efficient in improving user experience of European cities. Let’s focus on three game-changing ones.
Decriminalization of parking enforcement to boost city center accessibility
The latest example is the decriminalization of parking enforcement. Each city is now responsible for its own on-street parking policy. They are free to choose their control organisation, the price of a parking ticket and the digital tools available to users.
Having introduced it at the beginning of 2018 in France, and earlier in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Portugal, Spain, and Norway, cities witness the payment rate double within the first months, an increased rotation of the vehicles and an optimization of space and traffic.
Those changes have a positive impact on the community at a broader scale: diminished stress, an increasing economic dynamism and a public motivation to abide by the rules and capitalize on accessible city centers.
E-robot as a valet to automatically park cars off-street
Another bright example of employed technologies can be found in the off-street sector. London and Dusseldorf first, Lyon second launched the world’s first external valet e-robot service in their airports.
After booking a parking space online, a passenger leaves his vehicle in a dedicated lot. Using the sensors to evaluate the size and weight of the vehicle to prevent damage, the robot then parks the car in a secure and designated car park using a forklift truck. Upon returning from the trip, the passenger finds his vehicle in one of the special boxes, which the virtual valet will have prepared before his arrival.
Smartly made, investments bring the benefits for everybody. The users profit from saved time and nerves, the operators – from a two-fold increase of the seats on the parking slots, and in general greenhouse gas emissions diminish significantly.
Park+Ride facilities to foster intermodality
The big concern of cities has been the optimization of the public space and traffic jams. This phenomenon is a real hassle for commuters during and out of rush-hours. Citizens choose to relocate outside of the city because it is too inconvenient to reach the center as they lose too much time driving.
This has led to the desertification of city centres, which is extremely damaging for local businesses.
To tackle this issue, different solutions have been tested:
- To build several-level up- or underground parking facilities
- To install designated parking areas, called Park and Ride (P+R) facilities, close to public transportation hubs: arriving people leave their cars and take public transport further. As Paris City Hall stated: “The City’s objective is to promote public transport journeys that are faster and less polluting“. In spite of cost (€75 per month), some restrictions on time (single exit/entry during working hours) or location (user should not live nearby P+R facilities), citizens started to use this opportunity to shorten their travel time and stop worrying about parking search.
Main ingredient of urban changes
Cities most often wish to restore their image by implementing actions promoting active mobility. However, this paradigm shift (from owner cars to shared vehicles) can only be achieved by supporting users. Innovations such as P+Rs or rotating parking spaces in urban centres allow more inclusive mobility while moving towards the green mobility path.
What will be the future innovations for parking in intermodality?