Today, many drivers rely on real-time traffic information and vehicle navigation systems to provide journey times and the best routes to their destinations. However, real-time parking availability – especially on-street availability – is almost never a part of current navigation guidance systems. This means the smart device or in-car navigation system isn’t taking into account finding, paying for, and walking from the parking space to the destination in the total journey time – leaving this up to the driver to estimate and hope for the best.

A recent study revealed that each driver spends an average of 17 hours per year searching for parking spaces on streets, in lots, or in garages – costing Americans over $20 billion annually – or almost $100 per driver.

These parking inefficiencies affect not only individuals but businesses and local shops as well. 63% of the nearly 6,000 U.S. drivers surveyed reported that they avoid driving to stores and other destinations due to challenges in finding available parking.

This report illustrates the significant impact parking and the problems surrounding it have on us as individuals and as a society.

The motorists that participated in the study have a clear demand for solutions, including:

  • 90% want real-time parking availability information
  • 88% want to search for the cheapest or closest parking spots
  • 87% want to be able to navigate directly to the parking spot
  • 74% want this data integrated with their navigation system.

The study’s author believes that the battle for future connected and autonomous new car sales will revolve around enhanced safety and the perceived value of on-board technology.

Fortunately, Fybr’s technology can solve these consumer-driven issues today at little or no cost to the city or the citizen.

We believe our single space vehicle detection platform can relieve all of these challenges today – saving drivers time, money and stress while using less gasoline and reducing emissions.

Building a successful smart transportation strategy/solution requires real-time data on every space – including multi-use lanes and restricted parking zones such as those in front of fire hydrants and loading zones. This gives the most accurate snapshot of a city’s parking ecosystem and eliminates guesswork.

Using sensors to change and update enforcement methods is equally important in developing smarter parking ecosystems that can positively impact traffic congestion. Without accurate data on occupancy, officers waste time circling, and statistics show that as many as 97% of violations are missed in most cities.

With this much inefficiency, drivers are willing to risk a ticket, taking advantage of time limits and no parking zones – costing cities valuable meter revenue. However, with single space sensing, enforcement officers have access to real-time occupancy data – helping them be fair and efficient. Greater efficiency in addressing violations leads to greater compliance and an increase in revenue, space availability, and turnover.

Typically, a single space detection system can pay for itself in months, while the higher levels of accuracy and real-time information allow for more flexibility and opportunities to optimize parking inventory as goals evolve and change. For example, sensors are an integral part of managing a precise demand-based pricing model – allowing cities to review the impact of price changes in real time. A single space detection system also offers communities the ability to enable meter resetting – zeroing out time left on a meter when a person leaves a space – and real-time demand-based pricing.

Drivers see increased value from sensing as well. With single space sensing, parking occupancy data becomes exponentially more accurate with almost no latency, making wayfinding applications much more reliable and leading to a more efficient transportation experience.

Putting sensors in every space should be viewed as a cost savings and revenue/service enhancement initiative. As more and more spaces are being individually monitored, better and more accurate information will be available to both drivers and communities – creating safer, cleaner, and more efficient communities.