ParkScience attended the premier event for parking and traffic nerds in Amsterdam in April – braving 5-degree weather to see where the industry is headed.
It is a massive event with almost 900 companies from 49 countries exhibiting, and over the four event days a record of 32,317 visitors from 138 countries worldwide attended. Over 75% of attendees were international visitors.
All major suppliers were represented, however the highlights were the introduction of ITSUP – a separate hall for start-ups to show their wares and a common thread through the parking presentations of the continued movement away from complex (and capex heavy) proprietary based systems to the use of cloud technology to provide interconnected capability to cars, carparks, smart devices, infrastructure and other property assets.
An example of this is ASURA, which provides a cloud based LPR solution that does not rely on proprietary cameras. It integrates with most IP cameras and avoids the cost of multiple licenses. It has been developed by a software company – not a (hardware) camera company. ASURA claim a 35% cost reduction on a 6 camera system with larger savings as the cameras increase.
In conjunction with BMW, ParkNow showcases a smart parking solution that directs drivers to off street parking stations (and can book a space) as well as showing availability of the most likely on street spaces based on historical and real time traffic flow data. BMW cars integrate it into their in-dash displays.
Great technology and another example of where the intersection between consumers, interconnected vehicles, access control equipment suppliers and parking operators is headed.
Click on the link here for a short overview of the system.
Artificial Intelligence and parking? This was not even a blip on the radar five years ago. AI are in a similar field to ParkNow with a variety of white labelled products for smart devices and in car displays.
They have a substantial presence in Germany with a proven product.
However, the product that caught my eye was for on street parking or open-air parking lots.
A single sensor can cover up to 30 spaces and is mounted on a lamp post and can be solar powered. It has a cloud-based engine that can provide extensive predictive and useage data to a central location or to users through smart devices. Think of Sydney or Melbourne City Council mounting them on poles and providing real time data for on street availability to an app for drivers coming into the CBD.
Remember the research that Professor Donald Shoup of UCLA did showing that up to 35% of congestion is caused by vehicles circulating, looking for an on-street bay. As Councils will not price the on-street bays properly, this is a great solution to ease congestion – even better than Levies!!!!
No more sinking individual sensors for each bay into roads – so savings of up to 70% can be achieved.
Also, of interest was IP Parking, a Dutch based company that has developed a web based, integrated parking management and advanced multi portal reservation system that is now being sold in Australia.
Finally, TIBA impressed with substantial improvements to their management software and are likely to prove very competitive price wise in the mid-tier market.
The challenge for all new entrants will be the resources and back up provided in the Australian environment.
ParkScience also met up with easytrip -an Irish company that provides tag-based access to car parks. Think of the Transurban style tag your car currently has, that will provide access into a carpark and handle all the back-end billing and electronic invoicing. Cash less and ticket less. Traditionally this has not been an option for operators due to the cost of the tag readers (which are designed to read tags up to 200kmh) being expensive and the toll operators being inflexible on user fees.
Easytrip is a software company that has developed cost effective readers and a robust application that is used in over 30 carparks in Ireland. Expect to see this application being offered in Australia in the coming year.
No snorkel required
Warehouse conversions are commonplace around the globe for residential and commercial property – but this must be a first.
Around the corner from my hotel in Amsterdam was a canal conversion – that’s right – a canal that is being converted into a carpark!
The De Pijp district was built in the late nineteenth century with narrow streets and no cars. Whilst the Dutch love their bikes (and no carbon fibre or lycra here) they also want their cars. So ZJA Zwarts & Jansma architects have come up with a great solution that provides parking for 600 cars and 60 bicycles under a canal.
From street level the only sign of a carpark underneath is the entry and exit ramps leading to the street. No public space was sacrificed in creating the carpark, which also uses LPR to match vehicles with specific bays.
This is a new term describing the transformation of the property industry – not just parking. Proptech is the convergence of property and technology. It is about leveraging new technology into the property ecosystem.
Click on the link here (subscription required) if you have not read the recent article by Adrian Harrington on prop tech and how it is changing the way landlords and tenants interact – being driven by demands of tenants for flexibility and increased efficiencies in their use of space.
Landlords and tenants have borrowed one of parking’s core elements – the unreserved parking space. They have re branded it “agile space” – which removes a lot of “reserved” offices and workstations and creates shared spaces. This has allowed large tenants to dramatically reduce their physical space – as staff are regularly out of the office, away on business or leave etc….
It is based on accurate data on useage to model more efficient workplaces.
Where this becomes interesting for parking operators, owners and large tenants is gaining the same data on their parking to achieve similar results. And it is not only commercial parking stations this applies to.
There are now three small cloud-based providers in the Australian market – DIVVY, Ubi Park and a third entrant Base UP – backed by IAG. We expect further players to enter shortly, as the cost of software development is not prohibitive and the majority of the hardware can now be reliably (and inexpensively) sourced in China. Legacy equipment suppliers simply cannot compete on price, on features or have enough Australian based developers to tailor customer driven data-based solutions.
ParkScience is working with a top 10 ASX company that has hundreds of parking lots essentially for staff – but little data on the useage. A trial will soon be underway putting these new entrants head to head to determine which will be rolled out nationally.
The head to head comparison will appear as a ParkScience exclusive later this year.