Having just returned from the latest Smart City Expo in Barcelona, there is a clear sense that cities and large infrastructure providers are searching for solutions that offer both tangible benefits and a strong business case.
While many of the concepts surrounding smart cities are seen as “nice to have”, it’s more difficult to judge whether they offer a significant return on investment. In these times of austerity and significant economic challenges – especially in Southern Europe – the likelihood of an investment into projects that don’t increase efficiency, raise revenue and lower costs is more than unlikely.
In contrast, city administrators, in partnership with their on-street enforcement providers, are now really focusing on how best to manage access to on-street space. With limited kerbside capacity and pressure from motorists and businesses alike there are high levels of interest in the technology that allows the best and most efficient use of this finite resource. The ability to create shared use public and residential parking spaces, monitor real time compliance in those zones and direct motorists clearly to the nearest available on-street public parking is hugely beneficial.
The prizes for a city encompass reduced levels of congestion and pollution, better rates of compliance and an uplift in enforcement parking revenues. Additionally, costs can be reduced through more effective and efficient enforcement.
The feedback from visitors to our stand in Barcelona is that they have been watching the advent of parking sensor technology with great interest. They understand the benefits. What they haven’t been able to find until now is a provider who can deliver a complete end-to-end solution. The reality is that they are not just looking for a sensor manufacturer; rather, they are seeking a provider that delivers a full management information and reporting back office, offers a free app to the motorist for guidance to available spaces, enables payment data association from the leading suppliers of payment terminals and cashless parking, and delivers the capability to send real time contravention alerts to the attendant’s handheld computer.
That someone exists in Smart Parking. This combined with the reassurance that the company have deployed more than 40,000 sensors globally & that this organisation has been chosen by the biggest authority in the UK to deploy more than 10,000 sensor in the heart of London created a real buzz around the stand.
Clients and potential clients alike had the opportunity to see and touch the sensors, review real time on-street data from the installation base, and receive a demonstration of the management information and reporting capability of the SmartRep back office.
The show saw over 200 companies attend our stand over the three day event. There was interest from some of the world’s most recognised names in the automotive, IT & telecommunications industries.
We welcome interest from potential clients who identify with these issues, but also crucially for the European market, parking operators or technology providers who are interested in a reseller partnership. Smart Parking welcome contact from such organisations to understand their domestic markets requirements and how we can provide this technology to both companies benefit.