With space at a premium, how can we better minimise the parking footprint?
24 Feb 21
If we look to the future, we see an algorithm revolution, where decision making is taken out of our hands and dealt with by an on-board computer. However, algorithms will first need to overcome the limitations of the existing network infrastructure to truly prosper.
We have all been there, the stress building up as we struggle to find parking. Research shows that UK drivers spend 17 hours per year searching for parking at a cost of £458 per driver in wasted time, fuel and emissions. Not surprisingly, drivers in London saw the highest level of parking issues. In an ideal world we would increasingly turn to sustainable travel. In reality, this is not happening anytime soon.
When we get into our own car and prepare to set off on a journey, we may check Google Maps or input our destination into the sat nav, we are in effect entrusting decision making to the logic of algorithms in the hope that the shortest route avoids annoying roadworks and the paucity of parking on our arrival.
If we look to the future, we see an algorithm revolution, where decision making is taken out of our hands and dealt with by an on-board computer. However, algorithms will first need to overcome the limitations of the existing network infrastructure to truly prosper. In the here and now, driver assistance systems which use sensor technology may help avoid rear-end collisions but will not assist with finding the elusive parking for the end of that journey. These are step changes.
We know that space is at a premium, particularly in large cities. Solutions which minimise the parking footprint for residential, public and multi-purpose buildings will define the here and now.
How can the frustrations of finding parking be reduced and space better utilised?
There is a big push towards parking towers with automated storage and retrieval systems. These systems allow drivers to present the car at the entrance of the tower and let the automated system take over. It eliminates the need to find parking spaces and has the advantage of saving on horizontal space.
One such company that appears to share this vision is Moffett Parking Solutions (MPS). MPS, like numerous others, see the need for space efficient and safe parking. Their car parking system can provide up to 500% capacity increase than existing parking systems and provides added security with ANRP cameras and a key card system which would be linked to your specific car. These could potentially save developers money and space by providing a central car parking store for all residents / staff rather than utilising entire basement floors. Less mobile drivers would no longer need to use stairs or lifts providing better accessibility.
The car is not going anywhere soon. Whilst the types of fuel and engines will certainly see step changes, the passion to use that personalised bubble may become even more acute with COVID-19. We cannot keep building / using surface car parks or space hungry multi-storeys in our cities whilst looking to develop in the green belt due to a lack of space.