Developing Parking Management Software System - useful Prompts from Cleveroad

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11 May 2017
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10 min
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Daria R.
Copywriter

Do you ever get angry when you cant find a parking place? I do. Sometimes I even think of buying a parking spot, so no one would use it except me. Unfortunately, they dont sell them yet. However, Ive also seen some great, highly convenient car parks too. And this research is about why some parking lots are so effective and some arent and what technologies they use. How parking lot software development in combination with various equipment and devices can solve a long list of different problems which are inevitable in all parking lots all over the globe. 

Typical parking lot problems and solutions

Todd Litman the author of Parking Management Best Practices states that parking management system integration reduces parking requirements by 20-40%, improves user convenience and helps advance efficiency of a parking lot. To understand how we can benefit with the modern parking management system software integration, let us consider what typical issues the system solves:

#1 Its too small. The lack of free spaces is probably, one of the biggest issues that every car park owner faces, especially we can feel it at weekends near cinemas, clubs and shopping centres.

Car park problems and solutions

Of course, parking lot management software wont change the sizes of the place, however, it can optimize the space available.

#2 It is empty. The opposite situation is on weekdays, near the offices when there are no clients. If you develop a web-based platform along with a parking mobile app for your customers, you can inform them of a discount and available space from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for example. Various promotional activities, ability to reserve a space and discount or bonus system will maximize the revenue and provide you with loyal customers 24/7.

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Find out how you can improve user's engagement and acquisition in our investigation 

#3 It isnt safe. This is the case of cars and people too. On the old parking lots which arent equipped with usual cameras, its almost impossible to find out who scratched or even stole your car. Yet, the people security is in even worth condition. Criminals find old car parks easy to get at. No wonder that lots of women prefer to leave their cars on the streets even in front of an empty parking lot.

How can the technologies help? Well, video surveillance is a huge step forward. The more technologies you use the safer your car park becomes. For example barcodes scanner that validates parking permits prevents strangers from entrance. Various sensors in an advanced parking system calculate the speed inside the lot and the position of a car in relation to other vehicles and walls.

parking lot  sensors

#4 Its too expensive. The truth is that people hate parking lots, they need them but they dont like the whole idea to pay for a car to stay. And they always choose the cheapest variant even if they regret it later.

What the car park owner can do in order to reduce the costs is to variate the price according to the time, day or even month. And again, bonuses would be highly appreciated by the regular customers. A car park management system here only helps keep accounts.

#5 Its inconvenient to pay. Sounds strange, but there still are some places, where you can pay only in cash. With the pace of our life, we simply have no time to look for an ATM to withdraw money. So, different payment options in your parking payment system is a huge benefit for your parking lot.

#6 Its difficult to count. Accounting has always been difficult. The advantage of an integrated automated car parking system is that you dont have to do accounting by yourself or to hire a person for the job. The system will do all accounting for you. Along with that, youll get the statistics, which shows all the data about the busiest hours and the most profitable days and months.

What smart parking technology can be used?

The selection of the appropriate technologies and equipment should be based on the tasks it will perform and the type of a parking lot you own.

The simplest approach is to combine a program and a human worker. A worker will use a web parking software, an admin panel. The person indicates in a program what place is occupied and which one is free, he also needs to mark the approximate time of leaving. The car parking software shows all free places, if there arent any free room it tells where will it be soon and does all the calculations automatically.

The approach is very successful on small parking lots, on an even surface (based on one flour). If your car park is located in a building, or you want to automatize the system completely it would be better to use radial sensors with optocouplers, the same that are used in the supermarket doors. If you want to go further you should consider more advanced technologies, such as iBeacon or NFC. iBeacon devices work as radars and are commonly used for in-house navigation.

On a car park, each place should be equipped with one iBeacon device. Its main task is to track if the place is free or not and pass this data to admin panel. The system is effective, however, it would be unreasonable expensive to use without a users mobile parking app. Users app along with the iBeacon device tracks the time and calculates the cost of your parking and offers multiple payment ways. The parking lot app can also guide a driver to a free spot and when he comes back - show where his vehicle is. Moreover, in a smart parking app a driver can make reservation of a place for the time he needs.

NFC technology performs pretty much the same task. It uses radio waves and is based on Radio Frequency identification (RFID) technique. However, in this particular case, the users car parking app is a must as the technology communicates with the smartphone. At the same time it means that the owners of old phones without NFC capability wont be able to use your parking lot.

The application can be advanced with QR or Barcodes scanner. At the entrance the drivers parking ticket app generates a barcode which is scanned at the gates. The code is only for one-time usage and is linked to a specific spot. To get into the parking lot you need to show a barcode, person without it is unable to get in.

Who needs it? Such hi-tech systems would work perfectly on the closed parking lots of big companies, hospitals or airports.

A specific focus will be on an automated parking system. The first and the biggest problem of all lots is space. To minimize the space needed for parking Smart Parking Solution Inc company builds the robotic parking solutions and automated parking systems. On the video, you can see how it is constructed.

The full version of the video you can see here.

Such kind of a parking lot would be nice to have in the city centre as they need minimum place. If you want to establish the private lots it can become a fantastic solution for you. Though, if you already have a lot and want to modernise it, I advise you at first to look at the existing parking management software solutions and users parking spot apps which are already on the market.

What existing parking lot management software is there

Schiphol Netherlands, London Heathrow and Hong Kong International Airport they all use Skidata software.

What Skidata offer is convenient parking for the customers, booking and reservation options, various payment solutions and even the reports and analysis of customers behaviour. The company guarantees an easy integration into an airport software system, along with additional services like advanced security system and electronic cars charging.

ParkAlto develops parking software solutions specifically for airports and their parking lots. Along with the tailored software programs, they promise to increase the sizes of your lot by reducing aisles area.

Gateworks - is one of the leading providers of the parking management software. Using the software, you can register and identify every driver by quickly creating passes. The system allows to manage multiple lots of different sizes in more than one location. The vehicles are registered with the help of barcodes, which helps identify all parking violations.

Another SaaS provider is Inkara. Along with a web app, here you also get a users car park app with space reservation, e-ticketing, pre-booking and many more useful features. What is more, the system uses Parking Garage Notices in cases when a drives abused terms and conditions of your parking lot. The photo of the violation is taken and attached to the letter which is sent to the driver. The driver can pay PCNs via the website or the app.

Best Parking Lot apps

The car park software give more benefits to the owner. If you think to provide your drivers with a nice and convenient parking mobile app, you should take a look at the existing ones to see what technologies they use and how they perform all regulations.

The airport parking apps can be developed specifically for one airport, like Manchester Airport app, for a country, like AirportParkingUSA, or to cover the worlds biggest airports, like AirportParking. The apps are always linked to the software used in one or another airport.

AirportParkingUSA app development

AirportParkingUSA app

As for the parking apps which have nothing to do with the airports, there are a few types of them.

The first we decided to mention is an enterprise parking application. Its not a secret that nowadays more and more companies create in-house apps for their workers. Such apps can track the time of arrival/leaving of a person, his current location and much more. The app informs of the news and can have different access levels for different employees.

Along with all that more and more companies add parking features to their applications. For example, company Cucumber was one of the pioneers who created a real-time advanced parking solution for its employees.

The other type is a parking app of one lot label. Like the Wilson Parking company in New Zealand that created an application to shows all their parking lots in the country. The app works as a search and discovery directory service without the ability to book a specific spot. However, here you can pay for your parking via the app.

The next type is the apps that work across one country like SpotHero or ParkWhiz. In the app you choose a city and reserve a spot on the lot you like.

The applications that cover more than one country become more and more popular. Especially if its easy to cross the border between these countries on a car. For example, the app BestParking shows lots in the USA and Canada.

BestParking app development

BestParking app

The choice of the right car parking management software should be based on the type of a lot, the budget and the tasks it should perform. Before paying for an existing parking system software consider the option to develop a custom solution from the scratch with or without users application. The development of your own platform gives you the opportunity to choose those methods, approaches, technologies and equipment, which fit your needs and wallet.

From the standpoint of a regular driver, I would be happy to have as many nice clean and hi-tech parking lots in my city as possible. Apart from the benefits which the lot owner gets, the convenient parking spot app for drivers provides them with the fantastic experience. And as we know now its the only way to get honest and loyal customers, who will always return to you. If you want to estimate the cost of your advanced parking system dont hesitate and contact us.

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