The future of parking is not parking at all
An underestimated part of traffic congestion and emissions is caused by drivers on the look-out for a parking spot. Losing time and money, this daily struggle can be prevented by smart parking technology.
Several car companies developed smart technology to guide drivers to an available parking spot, reducing both traffic congestion and air pollution. Some navigation apps developed a similar feature, such as Waze in the United States. At the same time, cities are equipping street lights or even the pavement with sensors to collect and provide information on available parking spots.
Once an available spot founded, most car companies have provided their fleet with parking assistance and smart parking applications. Parking assist applications guide the driver into the available parking spots, while some companies do more and provide remote parking assistance, letting the car park itself. Fully driverless parking centres will increase the efficient use of the available parking area, as demonstrated in the car park at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart.
Once parked, the payment often forms another obstacle. However smart technology offers yet another solution. Mercedes-Benz created the Mercedes-Benz Parking Card, which will be recognised by certain multi-story car parks in Germany and which allow the driver to pass the parking barrier for free.
Tantalum wants to take smart payment to the next level via its connected cars. Not the driver, but the vehicle will be in charge of complying with the parking rules, in terms of parking time, maximum stay and, if needed, automated payment renewal before the time expires.
Smart while parked
Since the parked time might be seen as a waste of time (and parking space), Mercedes-Benz will launch two new services to spend parked time usefully. One is a Car Sharing app which let the car drive instead of being parked, the other is CHARK.me (Change the way you paRK), which allows the car to be used as a deposit or storage place for laundry or delivery services.
In the end, shared vehicles, and especially automated shared taxis, might provide a solution for parking problems in general by eliminating the need to park at all. Being always on the road, leaving passengers behind while picking up the next ones – such cars don’t need to be parked at all.
Image: traffic on Champs Elysées, Paris.