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Blog

Technically Better Together

Dear Parking Peers,

Here’s the thing. The thing I’m sure you all have thought or whispered, and only a few have said. Allow me to come right out of the gates with it.

Parking as we knew it has changed. In fact, transportation as we knew it has changed. This is not a bad thing. The way I see it, it’s an opportunity. It’s a new way of thinking. It’s a positive advancement for all of us. Honestly ask yourself what differentiates this “new normal” from any project, pilot or test run we’ve done before? Each situation is unique and brings its own set of challenges to the table for us to solve. It’s what keeps our industry so exciting and profitable. Right? Constantly on our toes. Adapting to new technologies. 

In parking we’ve always encouraged innovative ideas, trying to stay one step ahead of the future. When presented with a problem, we first observe and collaborate, then plan strategically  by incorporating stages of development, and finish with a final presentation of the best solution. We can still do this. We have to keep doing this.

This “project”, however, is large and the solution is one none of us are able to exactly determine. It will impact everyone’s life no matter the location, whether an urban sprawl or in the middle of Nowhere, West Virginia. The uncertainty will not help us advance, but if we at least start talking about what this could mean – based on what we do know and the data we are able to collect – I’m certain it will be better than before. 

Hear me out.

Over the last month or so, a few objections I have been considering in regards to this post include Self Transportation, Public Transportation, and Trucking Transportation. All of which contribute to parking or lack thereof.

When lockdowns are lifted, many predict a lot more people in suburban centers will be driving their own cars so as not to risk contamination. This could mean a sharp increase in demand for parking availability. However, given the current state of our economy, increased unemployment and furloughs, the numbers become skewed. Not to mention those who rely on mass transit daily which may no longer be an option— at least not currently.

Workforce/Workplace Management

Data balances corporate campus parking availability and the workforce. Over 76 percent of Americans drive alone to work every day, while another 9 percent carpool with someone else. 

Considering that ACS counted 150 million workers in 2016, that’s at least 115 million cars and trucks hitting U.S. streets every day. (America’s Commuting Choices)

What Parking Data Can Tell Us

We can use corporate campus parking data to develop remote work policies and ask:

  • Are your remote workers coming back in one mass group (probably not), or are there processes that just work better remotely, allowing more people to work in the field?
  • Workforce enablement – what can you do remotely based on the data you are collecting now?

Then, there are trucks. There were a lot of trucks before the pandemic and there are a lot now. I don’t need to know what you are purchasing from Amazon or how many trailers are filled with sanitizer and toilet paper. I’m talking about how we connect parking occupancy while also connecting traffic flow to the eventual parking occupancy numbers in specific facilities or zones.

So, if you have decided to put off your parking project, here’s why you shouldn’t.

Operators and app-centric companies will now represent a monumental shift for the industry.  What do you do when no one parks? Anecdotal/predictive data and optimism will not be enough. Even when occupancy is up, if you still have separate systems collecting separate data, it’s going to be inefficient. 

Begin with Accuracy as the Foundation 

Basic occupancy data to dynamic pricing impacts parker satisfaction, garage revenue, even traffic density. Keep it fully scalable, manageable, customizable and include existing infrastructure – in one place. As you see numbers spike or fall, you need to make the call. [https://portal.parkingcloud.com/login]

Additional Features Needed

  • Rapid Message Capabilities = “Mobility Information”
  • Alerts – know when structures are beyond maximum threshold, when a vehicle has overstayed its allotted time or if a device is malfunctioning  
  • Reports and Subscriptions – by date, week, hour, location
  • Mobile – Know occupancy beforehand. Archived data allows you to do trend analysis and operational planning.

If you haven’t had the chance to listen to Jim and Tauni explain how ATS ParkingCloud makes operational planning easier and more effective, because heaven knows homeschooling your kids brings its own set of challenges during the current lockdown and I’m thinking of you. When you do have fifteen minutes to spare, I kindly ask that you enjoy your next cup of coffee while watching this simple, straight forward webinar on counting accuracy and using collected data across multiple systems. 

It’s Now or Never

I wish I was talking with all of you in person at trade shows, however, I’ve thoroughly been enjoying the online communications through LinkedIn. I absolutely enjoy watching you all of you choose optimism in light of this situation. We can learn so much from each other right now and make it even better than before. We’ve been saying for how long that the “Future is now”? Well then, it’s now – or never.

“We’re all in this together” has been the trending statement. I think we can edit that statement by starting a new trend in saying …

We are Technically Better Together.  

Stay “tuned” for our next message when we take a deeper dive into data analytics and explain how to prepare yourself for what’s coming.

Thank you for reading.

Sincerely, CEP

"Traffic
Blog, law enforcement, Make Parking Better, smart cities, traffic safety

Why Traffic and Parking Solutions are Critical for Communities of Concern

More than 90 Americans die every day in vehicular accidents. 

The bad news? It most likely won’t change until communities get proactive when it comes to traffic and parking safety. Despite the best efforts of cities like New York, the congestion on our roadways is leading to more pollution, more accidents, and more deaths. 

The good news? It’s tough to find a silver lining, but organizations like Vision Zero are tackling the problem head on. For the unfamiliar, Vision Zero is multi-national road traffic safety project that aims to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries involving road traffic.

Vision Zero has identified “communities of concern” which it defines as the 12 percent of roads that more than 70 percent of accidents occur. Solving parking and traffic challenges in these communities is paramount to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities. 

Communities of Concern include areas where the following are higher: 

  • Older adults and adults without vehicles 
  • Children and school areas 
  • People with disabilities 
  • Impoverished areas or those with lower educational attainment
  • Chronic health conditions 
  • Safety concerns due to speed limits and crashes 

We recently announced that the Florida Department of Transportation (DoT) has added All Traffic Solutions to its list of preferred vendors on the Approved Products List. Moving forward, it could be one of our signs you see on the most dangerous roadways in Florida, whether it be US-1, I-95, I-75, or an arterial or collector road. Here’s why that matters:

  • Most DoTs are overburdened. Technology has changed a lot of things and has certainly made strides in impacting transportation. But, promises of tomorrow – self-driving cars, for example – still seem to be a long way off. Until these departments get some relief in dealing with the day in, day out issues they face managing transportation – whether it be cars, busses, trains, etc. – the roadways aren’t safe. Transportation options are outpacing infrastructure advances and most transportation offices are understaffed.  Internet of Things (IoT) devices that enable an administrator to quickly update a sign and warn people of impending traffic or danger is a step in the right direction for managing transportation issues. 
  • Today’s drivers are consumers of technology. We’re in an era where smart devices and IoT devices are used for everything from turning the lights on in a home to managing an entire lighting grid for a city. Drivers – today’s consumers – understand technology. The value of a well-placed sign that provides a heads-up versus heads-down reminder of driver speed and is updated real-time has a tremendous impact. 
  • Technology that literally saves lives. We talked about the sobering number of deaths on the roads each day. One sign can be the difference between life and death for a driver. Signs are often overlooked because of the labor involved with setting them up. But All Traffic Solutions has devices that can be set up by a single person and provides a platform that give DoTs and municipalities the power to have visibility to their entire community at one time and act based on environmental variables. I’ve written in this space before about the fears that hold communities back from integrating smart city technologies, but adopting just one sign makes a community a smart city – and is a major step toward increasing road safety in your community. 

We all know the dangers out there every time a citizen hops behind the wheel of a car and, as traffic parking and safety professionals, we have the power to put programs in place that save lives. We know you’re overtaxed and often fighting through bureaucratic red tape to make things happen. It’s hard to be proactive when you’re constantly putting out fires. But you can take the power back by leveraging traffic crash and safety data from local law enforcement, linking it up to smart devices, and proactively communicating traffic hazards.

 

 

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Accurate Parking Counts, Improving Parking Occupancy Counts, Make Parking Better

You can turn your signs back on now!

A “Quick Rant” by Christine Parisi

Too often, monument signs that are supposed to be displaying open and occupied parking spaces are turned off, putting the “parking experience” right back into the drivers hands; leaving it up to the customer to guess where (and if) there are open spaces.. Strong-willed drivers might not even notice, while others…not so much.

But before I dive any deeper, I want to make it known that I am not referring to product malfunctions, integration issues or even a specific occasion when I witnessed this, because it happens and that’s okay. It’s inevitable – “glitches” will occur and fast workarounds will sometimes be needed. 

But why is this such an unspoken topic? Why isn’t anyone talking about how many signs are turned off? It’s in plain sight, and leaves me only to assume: 

  • “As long as the space by space overhead lighting is showing availability, it’s not a pressing issue, we’ll fix it later.”
  • “We plan on doing that during the next phase of installation.”
  • “People have been parking without technology for years, they can use their eyes to find a spot.”
  • “Loops, pucks, gates are all working fine. You don’t know what you don’t know.”
  • “We don’t trust the data.” 

Here’s what I think. I think all of the above are extremely kind assumptions. Chances are, drivers probably don’t even care why, they just can’t get a clue about where to find a spot. So, how much impact does this have on the parking experience? 

What Happens When Your Signs are Off

Reality check – TAKE NOTE:

  • Parking managers/garage owners lose money
  • Parker/driver confusion = poor impression of the facility
  • Increased traffic density due to lack of visibility into available parking
  • Increased stress on garage staff as they have to scramble to manage traffic and frustrated parkers
  • Inaccurate counts can result in overselling and this can cause customer frustration/dissatisfaction

Over the last three years I have purposefully acquainted myself with those I consider to be extremely educated on all things parking. I have been involved in countless conversations with parking leaders, I’ve asked a lot of questions and received great insight. Yet, with all of this knowledge, experience, and technology no one seems to be talking about the importance of displaying accurate counts. And I get it. There are thousands of abandoned scooters that need cleaning up, air-taxis services in the works, and thanks to data received from LPR technologies, there are even new dating apps hitting the pavement. There’s a lot going on. I just don’t think that is reason enough to ignore such an integral component in creating a successful parking scenario.

The Fix

The truth is there is no perfect parking scenario – at least not yet. But there are lots of kickass technologies challenging the way we think about parking and reinventing the old paradigms. The fact that we are even talking about air taxis is incredible. It’s 2020 and the world is changing. So let’s keep doing what works, leverage what is the most accurate, and align all of it to give our customers something they can be happy with. 

And please — turn your signs back on! #accuracymatters

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Blog, smart cities, Tech, Traffic Data

The Ongoing Conflict Between Data Privacy and Smart Cities: Will It End?

I’ve been drawn to the headlines coming out of San Diego, where a government watchdog group has sued the city over data it has collected from smart street lights.

This is a polarizing debate, and one that merits discussion. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, which has done a terrific job of covering this story since initial requests for information were made last month, “Critics fear the cameras are intrusive and could be used to spy on citizens, although police insist they are not monitoring the feeds. Some critics also raise concerns that there is a lack of oversight, as well as the potential for data mining.”

Consumers are increasingly concerned about data privacy – but continue to share data freely when it is a benefit to them. According to the 2018 Norton LifeLock Cyber Safety Insights Report, nearly 75 percent of Americans are more concerned about privacy, but two-thirds will make the trade off of personal data for convenience online. Smart devices for the home are being purchased at a record clip and no less than Amazon, Apple, and Google have pushed for an open standard for all devices to talk with one another securely.

The realization of smart cities has already made communities safer, cleaner, and more efficient and the technologies available to communities is only getting better. Being in the traffic and parking space, I witness daily the impact our smart traffic and parking solutions make in the communities that we serve. I’m not being dramatic when I say that there are times our technology – and those like ours – save lives.

However, this conflict we have between intelligent devices and data privacy is not going away anytime soon. Good data – data that can be trusted – is at the most critical component of every smart city technology.

So where do we go from here?

Residents must continue to be vigilant in protecting their privacy. The volume of cybersecurity incidents continues to increase and protecting our online identity is just as important as protecting our physical on

But, I wonder if we can continue to shift our thinking, much like we have when we give Amazon or Google permission to use our data to better our online experience? I made the point in my last post that we are in the infancy of smart city and it’s only natural to have fear and skepticism when embarking on a new technological journey, particularly one so deeply wedded to data collection. However, just one smart sign, light, meter, etc. makes a community smarter and isn’t that something to strive for?

The Union-Tribune article makes the point that “when they’re all installed, more than half of the lights will be equipped with cameras and technology that collects real-time data, which the city said it will use to help the community, including improving traffic congestion, making parking easier.

In addition, San Diego police can access the video footage from the lights in limited situations, like homicide or other violent crimes.”

It seems like there are a number of positive outcomes that can come from San Diego’s smart street lights. Traffic congestion cost the US $87B in 2018 and is bound to increase again when we see the 2019 data. In Washington, DC, the average driver lost 155 hours dealing with traffic. Those are staggering numbers and, despite the best efforts of cities like New York to curb traffic, only growing.

If we are willing to exchange data for online convenience, shouldn’t we also be open to exchanging it for programs that will make our communities safer and protect our residents?

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Blog, law enforcement, traffic safety

Combat Drunk Driving and Keep the Season Jolly

ATS’ portable, cloud-enabled signage supports seasonal safe driving campaigns.

The Facts:

Alcohol-related driving kills over 10,000 people on US roads each year — and the likelihood of tragedy increases over the holiday season. Every year at around this time, the national Drive Sober campaign as well as similar initiatives all the way down to the local level remind us not to let over-indulgence become ‘over and out’. 

The Challenge:

Law enforcement and road/community safety organizations are constantly in search of ways to provide successful deterrents and reminders across large geographic areas at realistic cost. It’s easier in densely populated and congested urban areas, where high levels of traffic management and connectivity are in place. It’s more problematic on suburban, inter-urban and rural roads, where levels of embedded technology tend to be lower — and instances of drunk-driving are often higher. 

The Solution: Connected Message Signs

ATS knows portable, cloud-enabled systems are a highly efficient counter to seasonal drunk driving. 

Our InstAlert variable message sign is rugged, durable and capable of using a variety of independent power supplies. Operational in under a minute –it folds for transport in a vehicle’s trunk, or can be mounted on a trailer, pole or portable post. It really is that simple. Plus, it’s connected. 

Here’s how it works. ATS TraffiCloud® is a web-based, Remote Management Service that provides real-time condition monitoring and system control to take place wirelessly from a centralized location. In other words, no more having to visit each site to make sure everything’s working properly or to change displayed messages. High levels of portability combined with wireless connectivity means that signs can easily be moved from place to place, and messages changed from any Internet-connected device, from any location–to match local or seasonal needs. 

The Result:

Safety campaigns that are resource- and cost-efficient, and highly effective. 

It’s about visibility. It’s about reminding drivers of their responsibilities to themselves, their families and their communities. And it helps if the messages are relevant and dynamic — there’s a proven relationship between messages being periodically refreshed rather than static, and gaining drivers’ attention and increasing safety. 

Better safety and saving lives is ATS’ prime mission, and the technological solutions we provide help public authorities to reduce fatalities and achieve Vision Zero-type goals. There’s no reason why the season shouldn’t continue to be jolly, and there’s no reason why — given the capabilities that we offer — why safety should be beyond the financial reach of even the smallest and remotest of communities.”

Be safe on the roads, and if you pass a message sign displaying a seasonal reminder — be sure to acknowledge the police department or town council that put it there for your safety! Everyone here at ATS would like to extend our best wishes for a joyous and healthy holiday season and New Year. 

"smart
Blog, smart cities

Don’t Let Fear Paralyze You: Becoming a Smart City Can Be Easier Than You Think

By Andy Souders
CEO, All Traffic Solutions

Smart city. The words elicit dreams of utopia.

And fear.

When  communities do smart city right – like in the case of New York City’s automated meter reading (AMR) to measure water usage or Sidewalk Labs’ initiative on the Toronto waterfront – and the benefits are clear. Technology can make your community more efficient and improve the lives of your residents. No one in our line of work can miss all the goodness that smart city promises.

But you’re likely not New York. Or Toronto, Tokyo, or Amsterdam. Cities that have significant money and resources to launch effective smart city initiatives. That doesn’t mean you can’t be Clarendon Hills, Illinois where the police department has moved to data-driven traffic enforcement. Or Minturn, Colorado, which illustrates how the collection and analysis of real-time traffic data can lead to a reduction in the number of citations issued and simplified speed limits.

The lesson? You don’t need to be a behemoth of a city to initiate a smart city project.

If Clarendon Hills and Minturn can do it, so can you. We have worked hand-in-hand with communities for decades now and we know it’s hard. The promise of being a smart city is exciting – but also overwhelming. Where do you start?

A lot won’t. They will look at the undertaking, the lack of resources, the buy-in needed to really make an initiative work and will make the decision that’s simply easier to not take it on. Maybe these communities are short staffed or budget challenged – or both.

We understand the reticence, but we’re here to encourage you. As a community, incorporate real-time data collection into just one process. In doing so, you’re a smart city.

You don’t need to have a plan to incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) and real-time data collection and analysis into every process in your community. Take one.

We know of the success stories but take a closer look and you’ll see none of them are of communities that have incorporated smart city initiatives universally. That may be the aspiration but the reality is that smart cities are five years old. And while progress has been made, there is still a long way to go. We are in our infancy. All the noise has likely made many communities feel as though they are behind – they are not.

Fully realized, a smart city is leveraging data from smart devices across all facets of its community. But most communities aren’t there yet. In my dealing with cities and towns across the country, they all love the vision of being a smart city: more efficient processes, better response times and a more proactive approach to planning for the future of all their citizens. But no one is ready to achieve that vision today, so we need to modulate what success looks like.

Start with one process. It could be something as bold as New York or Toronto, cities that have the muscle to take one complicated initiative and, in doing so, serve as examples of what we can achieve. Or it can be something equally important but more practical, like traffic and parking or waste management.

Being a full-fledged smart city does not happen overnight—it takes careful planning and implementation of carefully vetted technologies and solutions. But, if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to dabble. Take one small step toward being a smart city, revel in your accomplishments — and then take the next step.

 

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Blog, law enforcement

Helping to Shape the Future of the Policing Profession – One Resolved Traffic Complaint at a Time

“At IACP 2019, I really hope that you’ll make every moment count, with countless opportunities to be inspired, gain insight and make connections. This is the most important event in law enforcement where see and hear about cutting edge education and technology.” – Superintendent Eddie Johnson of Chicago PD.

For over a decade, All Traffic Solutions has been honored to attend the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Conference and Exposition. Each year, our excitement to showcase our products and software only increases! As Superintendent Johnson said, IACP is an opportunity to become educated on cutting-edge technology that support law enforcement professionals serving anywhere from small towns to the largest cities in the world. 

Some of the topics and trends being discussed at IACP this year, such as Community-Police Relations, Officer Safety, and Response to Active Threats tie in with our mission. 

Community-Police Relations: Sometimes, all it takes is seeing one of our radar speed signs on the street that adds a sense of protection and care from law enforcement to concerned citizens. 

Officer Safety: Our vehicle counters are low power and easy to deploy roadside; unlike road tubes, which can put officers’ lives at risk. When responding to an accident, they can set up our InstAlert 24 folding message sign on a portable post, grab the battery pack and share a warning message with drivers in about a minute to stay back.

Response to Active Threats: Police can share emergency messages with the public fast at incident scenes and in lock-down situations. 

What’s New at Booth 3817

This year, we’ve introduced two new and important alerting solutions – the ATS FloodAlert detection and notification system, and the ATS Wrong Way Solution. In addition, we continue to be the only manufacturer of folding messaging boards you can find anywhere (the amazingly InstAlert 24 – see above!) Our products are American-made, portable, durable, cloud connected, and highly accurate. 

If that doesn’t peak your interest, here are a few more reasons why you should visit Booth 3817 at IACP 2019 in Chicago.  

We won’t have tasers, body cams – or dogs – but we will be showcasing our impressive line of radar speed signs, radar messaging displays, variable messaging signs, speed trailers (ALPR-ready available), vehicle counting and classification devices, handheld Lidar devices and our patented TraffiCloud® remote management software. Also look for us demoing TraffiCloud at the Wanco booth #4639 with their TraffiCloud-ready signs.

We’re also giving away two handcrafted wooden wall flags from the Flags of Valor – a veteran-owned business located in Ashburn, VA – honoring our men and women in blue. FOV flags are made by combat veterans, many of whom were wounded in battle. 

In the time I’ve been with ATS, one of my favorite aspects of the job are the conversations I have with our customers (in this case, with members of law enforcement). It means more than anything that we as a company get to play a part, large or small, in helping such a selfless and noble industry, and to hear that our innovations are helping keep communities safe. Especially when these customers are putting their lives on the line every day.

You may not know this, but police are required to respond to every single traffic and/or speeding complaint they receive. More than half of the time, those speeding complaints are inaccurate and extremely time-consuming. So, we make it simple, less time-consuming and provide accuracy through data reports via TraffiCloud. Our products and software leverage real-time data to calm traffic, share notifications, manage availability, and make traffic management better—while maximizing resources, revenue and budget.

Our customers include police departments, departments of transportation and public works, municipalities, emergency management and safety departments, and higher education/K-12, as well as trucking and parking and many others.

ATS has had many notable accomplishments over the last twenty years, and will continue to strive to serve customers with the best technology and most reliable products. 

We are thankful for the opportunity to exhibit at IACP 2019 and hope to see you in Chicago!

"All
Blog, law enforcement, law enforcement

ATS Hosts First Customer Appreciation Day for Local Law Enforcement

by Christine Parisi
Business Development Manager
All Traffic Solutions

“Sell the problem you solve, not the product”— this quote recently inspired me. Sure, it’s what everyone in Sales aims to do— but I say there is no better deal closed than when you help your customers solve a problem.”

For those of us who live in the DC Metro area, I think it is more than safe to say that traffic is a definite problem. Honestly, that is putting it very nicely. Unfortunately, we can’t just snap our fingers and make it go away, but we can make it better, safer, and easier to manage. In doing so, we help those employed in the traffic and safety sector including municipalities, DoT’s, corporate campuses, and more. In this particular case of the Local Event, the “more” represented our customers who put their lives on the line every day, while also (somehow) finding time to deal with this issue we call traffic. More specifically DMV law enforcement.

Did you know, that an officer is required by law to respond to every traffic complaint their department receives? Now, I’m not saying that so you pick up the phone and dial in to complain about Mrs. Johnson’s son who drives like Jason Statham in Fast and Furious down your street on a daily basis, I’m making a point of just how time-consuming it is for law enforcement to investigate and respond to each and every one. And no offense, but Mrs. Johnson’s son probably isn’t driving that fast.

At All Traffic Solutions, it’s our job to make traffic enforcement easier, more efficient, and less of a drain on resources and budget. We manufacture those signs you see on the road displaying your speed (the white ones with a green ATS sticker on the back). Disclaimer: we are not issuing speeding tickets! We help law enforcement, municipalities and many others to manage their radar signs, message boards and other devices and collect accurate data for reporting remotely using our patented TraffiCloud cloud-based software.


Why We Decided to Host an Open House

The idea came from the fact that since we live in the DMV and work for a traffic technology company, it only made sense to invite them to the office for face-to-face conversations in a relaxed environment — with fun activities, training and meaningful prizes. More importantly, we wanted to hear directly from the source— the literal eyes and ears of our products who are deployed on the streets— on ways that we as a company can continue to improve.

Officers shared ways ATS helps them keep community roads safe, such as using our SpeedAlert speed trailers with TraffiCloud to resolve neighborhood speeding complaints faster and more efficiently. They also had suggestions for us on product features as well as ideas for future events.

Giveaways included ATS logo t-shirts retrofitted with the three flags representing the DMV, a handcrafted thin blue line American flag from the Flags of Valor in Ashburn, VA and a new ATS Shield 12 radar speed display sign with one year of TraffiCloud. We gave demos, showcased some new technology, and even playing a little football with one of our signs— durability testing, anyone? (PS, the sign was 100% not harmed)

The atmosphere was casual and there were smiles all around. Which brings me back to my original point: There is no better deal, “closed won” than seeing your product help a customer solve a problem. It was an honor to spend the day with members of local law enforcement who are out there on the front lines using our products. It was even more of an honor to hear how our products make their jobs better, safer and easier.

Afterthought

We hope this event was the first of many to come because all of our customers are truly worth a day of appreciation!

To close, here is a fun, 2-minute video featuring the durability of our products.

"ATS
Make Parking Better

Customers Lose When Parking Apps Fail

by Christine Parisi
Business Development Manager
All Traffic Solutions

Behind the (Mobile Parking) App 

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about apps. Not to be confused with deep-fried platters of pickles and secret sauces. I mean applications, as in mobile. How many apps does the average person have on their mobile device and how many of them are for parking? The answer probably depends on your geographical location and other factors, such as whether you’re in a major city or reside in urban sprawl, how much you travel for work or leisure, and how reliant you are on technology versus pen and paper. That last one probably has the most influence.

In Apps We Trust

ATS Parking Cloud parking availability accuracy for smart parking

How often do we think about accuracy when we download an app? I know I don’t. I go to the App Store, type in my Apple ID and press the download button. I never stop to consider if the app will ever fail me, which is very trusting (read: ignorant) of me, especially in view of what I’m about to say in this post. But as a millennial, and the main target audience when it comes to tech efficiency, I believe my input is readworthy. (Parking managers: take note!)

App users find (certain) mobile applications for parking indispensable, especially those who fall into the Urban, Traveler, and Tech-Dependent buckets. If you read my last post, parking apps make parking our vehicles easier, giving us peace of mind so we don’t lose our $h!t in a parking garage when running late for a movie. When parking apps fail us, it can have a huge impact on our day.

Remember, it’s about the customer parking experience, people! When your app provides inaccurate availability info, you have failed the customer. The accuracy of the “data in” impacts the ecosystem around the entire customer parking experience. This is one instance where I would hesitate to download the app without first considering the validity of the data.

Increase in Availability Accuracy Can Save Millions

ATS ParkingCloud Parking Accuracy Counts Here’s an example of how much an organization can be affected by a lack of accurate parking availability data and the impact when they switch to a highly accurate solution, as one ATS customer did:

This Silicon Valley company has over 6,000 employees working on campus. Finding available parking each morning with their old solution was challenging, time-consuming and frustrating. Parkers drove from location to location in search of open spaces and frequently arrived late to their desks, making a dent in productivity levels. By implementing ParkingCloud, the company was able to reduce employee circling time to 10 minutes per day. At an average salary of $95K per employee, the company is able to realize an annual savings of $10,300,000!

In order for the parking experience to work seamlessly, we can’t really have much room for error, can we? Where are you getting your parking availability data from? If you’re a parking manager, are you certain of the data accuracy you publicly display? How much revenue are you losing from inaccurate counts?  

Afterthought

Two years ago, the New York Times published an article about the predictive capability of parking guidance applications and where the information comes from. The article states that the technology race is being run in the applications themselves, and that data accuracy is the key indicator of who’s winning. How many apps have joined that race in the last two years? Where do you fall in the parking accuracy pack?

Bet you’d rather be thinking about deep-fried pickles now.

 

"accurate
Accurate Parking Counts, Blog

Why Accurate Parking Availability is a Must-Have

 

accurate parking availability counts are a must-have

 

Whether you manage parking facilities for a commercial parking operator, university, corporate campus or airport, immediate access to real-time parking availability is a must-have for maximum revenue, productivity and customer satisfaction. Attaining 99+% accuracy levels is not only possible, but the technology can be cost-effective and easy to deploy quickly. For parking professionals looking to reduce congestion, circling and emissions, increase customer satisfaction and employee productivity, optimize utilization, implement demand-based pricing, and maximize revenue, you can deploy cost-effective and easy-to-use technology and provide real-time benefits.  


Bad Accuracy Data Affects Everything 

Your parking operation is adversely affected when you don’t have real-time availability data. Manually counting open spaces in your parking garage or on surface lots is ineffective and produces inaccuracies that have many repercussions. Let’s look at why tracking parking occupancy is important.

Why is real-time occupancy data so important? To answer that question, let’s look at a situation typical of an organization that does not have accurate availability counts.

Let’s say you’re a university with on-street and off-street parking facilities.  You probably have high-volume areas where it’s difficult to find parking. As a result, students and faculty must circle for open spots, which makes them late for class, and in turn, makes them unhappy. The parking situation could even affect their decision to return the following year. All those idling and circling vehicles create greenhouse gas emissions. Word gets out about your parking issues and lack of green parking initiatives, which hurts commuter enrollment. Circling and waiting in line to park cause congestion on streets and in garages and surface lots. That congestion, in turn, creates traffic problems and safety issues for the community.


The Solution 

With real-time parking availability counts you can:

  • Push availability information immediately to signage, your parking app and social media to guide parkers to open spaces faster
  • Get faculty and students into their seats quickly and efficiently
  • Base work or class schedules on parking occupancy patterns and locations
  • Implement pricing strategies based on understanding peaks and valleys in parking demand
  • Leverage availability data for long-term planning

The good news is you can make simple changes to dramatically improve the accuracy of your parking occupancy data and make parking better for everyone. If you want to learn how to do that, we’d love to talk with you. 

 

 

 

 

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