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Blog, Parking Lot Blog

How to Gain Real-Time Understanding of Your Parking Availability Using a Smart Cities Approach

If you’re a parking operator, when it comes to having a parking management system that allows you to understand your total parking availability in real time, the deck has been stacked against you. There are many factors that have made it very challenging. In today’s post, we’ll talk about those challenges, and how you can leverage the latest technology to move you closer towards having the right-size, right-fit, right-technology parking system you want but thought you couldn’t have.

The Situation

Parking systems have traditionally been built on platforms that use proprietary software and therefore don’t “talk” to other systems, and don’t provide information and data in real time. Also, the systems required the purchase of a server, plus ongoing IT support.

As a parking facilities manager, how can you gain insights into your entire inventory? Every lot, every garage, all your on-street parking and every premium space?

The answer lies in adopting a smart cities approach to parking.

A smart approach:

  • Leverages your existing hardware and software, together with data analytics, to accomplish more while spending less
  • Utilizes a technology-agnostic strategy so you can use the technology you have and seamlessly add the technologies you want in the future
  • Collects valuable data and then uses it to make the most cost-effective and impactful decisions
  • Integrates all your devices, systems, and data onto a single platform to give you real-time insight into your entire inventory

Here are five best practices your organization can implement now to attain the right parking system for you while continuing to use the systems you already have, to gain a real-time understanding of your total parking inventory.

#1 Automate Using the Cloud

The Cloud can simplify things, allowing you to leverage the IoT (Internet of Things) to connect your parking-related devices so they can “talk” to one another. 

So, your parking counting system could tell your variable message signs the current availability on each level so the signs can share that information with parkers. You can implement dynamic pricing automatically, increasing the hourly parking fee when lots approach a preset threshold to maximize revenue.

When you use these technologies you can monitor all your systems from anywhere using the Internet so they’re easier to manage, improving the parking experience for parkers and operators.

You also want to look for a parking management system that is built using an open-technology platform, which gives you maximum flexibility now and in the future. For example, ParkingCloud from All Traffic Solutions connects all your systems on a single, central platform. This gives you limitless technology choices, independent of your current environment—as complex or as simple as you need them to be. You leverage your existing technology, can add new technologies as they are developed or as your requirements change—without being locked into one vendor’s platform.

#2 Leverage Meaningful Parking Data

To make parking data work for you, you need a system with an open architecture. This allows for easy integration and easy viewing and analysis of data all in one place. Once the data is all in one place, you need the ability to analyze it for decision making and planning. For example, having parking occupancy data in real time and over a period of time allows you to track peak occupancy times, when vehicles enter a garage or lot and leave without paying, and how much inventory you can offer to aggregators to maximize revenue.

#3 Use Real-time Occupancy Data

Real-time occupancy data is one of the most powerful tools parking managers can have. Furnishing real-time occupancy information to parkers alleviates congestion, gets people to open spaces faster and allows them to get to their destination and go about their business, which makes everyone happier. Real-time occupancy data reduces overall frustration and improves safety in and around parking facilities, and allows parking managers to respond faster to issues and better plan for the future.

#4 Slow Speeding Drivers

Drivers are becoming more aggressive, so you need to plan accordingly, whether that involves placing traffic calming signs for speeders in a garage, sending messages to a sign or an app letting drivers know there’s been an accident, or using radar-enabled signs that automatically alert speeding drivers to slow down, the technology now exists for your organization to be proactive in communicating with parkers. Providing timely information helps calm drivers and reduces frustration, which has a positive effect on safety in and around your parking facilities.

#5 On-site Messaging to Communicate with Parkers

Using real-time messaging to communicate vital information to parkers is an essential best practice in parking facilities management. A simple message like, “Accident: Take Alternate Route,”along with a system that reroutes accordingly can be a great way to ease congestion and enhance overall customer, employee and commuter satisfaction.

By implementing these best practices, you now have a centralized cloud-based system that provides insights into your total parking availability so you can improve the customer experience, maximize parking revenue and plan for the future.

For information on how All Traffic Solutions can work with you to build your custom parking solution contact our parking solutions experts today.



Download the Smart Parking Solutions Overview.

Find out more about ATS Smart Parking Solutions.

Read our white paper  How Technology, Data and the IoT are Redefining Parking Facilities Management.

Blog, Parking Lot Blog

Open Platforms for Parking Management: Getting the Right Solution that Fits Your Needs

If you’re frustrated about having to use multiple systems to manage your parking availability, guidance, safety and security, access control and vehicle routing—read on. In this post, we’ll talk about what your parking management system can look like today by leveraging an open platform, and show you all that one single parking management system can do for you.

How the IoT Changed Parking Forever

Historically, parking systems were hardware-driven. Whether it was single-slot meters, parking lot access or counting systems, everything was very “closed-architecture”.  No system really talked to another system, so you accessed each one separately—one at a time—and there was no way of connecting any of that information.

About ten to 15 years ago, there started to develop a trend to try to fix that. That trend is the Internet of Things, or IoT for short. IoT essentially means that any device that can connect to the Internet has the ability to capture data, whether it’s your phone, a parking meter or a parking garage gate. We slowly started to see a shift to flexible software mobile solutions, but the key is that they are accessible to the Internet. By being accessible to the Internet, they have the ability to capture and record data so that they can keep it and analyze it over time.

With an IoT-driven, open architecture parking system you can tie all your legacy systems together onto a single, easy-to-use platform that delivers a superior parking experience for parkers, operators and the community.


The ParkingCloud parking management system from All Traffic Solutions uses this open technology for counting, guidance, safety and analytics. ParkingCloud is the only cloud-based IoT platform purpose-built for the parking and transportation industry that integrates all your devices, data, signs and output in one place. With ParkingCloud as your single parking management platform, you no longer have to access each system separately, and you can report on data from all your systems together to give you a holistic view of your entire parking operation.

Let’s take a look at all ParkingCloud can do.

Citywide parking availability gives drivers heads-up parking guidance so they know where to find parking, whether in lots, in garages or metered parking on the street.

Open architecture allows integration with your legacy parking investment so you can continue to use the systems you already have, and can purchase additional systems regardless of what technologies they use without being tied to one vendor.

Provide parking guidance by lot or garage, level or space, including premium spaces. For example, as parkers enter your parking facility, they see a sign informing them of the number of available open spaces—as well as handicapped spaces, visitor spaces, expectant mother spaces—on each level.

Safety measures in and around parking facilities to protect drivers and pedestrians. These measures can include radar speed displays with conditional messaging that tell speeding drivers to slow down and camera-based counting solutions.

Conditional messaging using web-enabled variable message signs directs inbound parkers to facilities with availability (PARKING AT SPRING ST NEXT LEFT), and exiting parkers to less congested routes on entry roads (ACCIDENT ON RT 267– TAKE ALT. ROUTE). Reduces congestion in and around parking areas.

Traffic is routed out of facilities on the fastest routes via heads-up roadside messages. You can even program current travel times to multiple routes and have them automatically update as conditions change.

Access control using license plate recognition, Bluetooth or RFID to help maintain the flow of traffic in commercial and non-commercial facilities.

Trucks are routed to available parking based on remaining drive time hours via their logbook to reduce congestion and idling time (and truck emissions!).

Data and reports are available on demand to help you manage real-time routing and guidance, as well as influence long-term planning. You can run and download the reports in seconds, as well as set up email subscriptions so you (and others if you choose) receive specific reports on an ongoing basis.

Availability data via real-time access for audit and loss control, trend analysis and parker classification.

Open Platform Parking Management is a Game-Changer

When you use the best of the new technologies to optimize parking availability, safety and guidance, the result is a much healthier parking environment. You allow people to get where they need to be faster with no hassle, and you improve the parking experience for everyone. Parking is simpler to manage, more cost-effective and more profitable for your organization.

ParkingCloud does all this:

–Gives you a single view of your entire parking ecosystem
–Allows you to future-proof your investment with an open, extensible platform
–Accommodates your existing infrastructure
–Leverages cloud-based SaaS and PaaS economies so you don’t have to build your own customized solution

Download more information about what parking looks like in 2018.

Visit our smart parking solutions page.

Contact us today to speak with a parking solutions expert.

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