Many people commute into busy metropolitan areas every day by car. These people know the drill — they’ve likely been driving to the same parking garage or lot in the same area of the city for a long time. Even if the commute is new at the moment, it will soon be repeated without a second thought, likely even by the week’s end. Some people even have their own reserved, prepaid numbered space or at least a pre-contracted guarantee they’ll have a place to park each day.
But it’s another thing entirely to have to deal with parking for those who visit the city infrequently, or perhaps, have never been to the area at all. There’s the stress of traffic and then the additional stress of making sure a space can be found that’s close enough to where they ultimately need to be — especially if time is of the essence. Parking garages and lots are often full, and just as frequently, garage layouts are labyrinthine in a way that is still fairly inexplicable to most people trying to navigate them. Is the traffic one way? Two way? Does this signage seriously say one must first go up to go down? And the traffic flow…wait...it crosses through the MIDDLE of the garage?? There’s a reason 20% of motor vehicle accidents happen in parking lots and garages, and it stems from a combination of stress, disorientation and distraction.
Enter digital signage. There has been a trend toward smart parking over the last couple of years, especially in large urban areas and in places where parking is a major source of revenue, such as airports, and digital signage is playing a major role as part of larger, more intelligent parking systems. These systems do a number of things, ranging from basic (digitally displaying a real-time count of the number of free parking spots available in the lot or garage) to advanced (personalized welcome messages and directions to open spaces for any individual registered for the program). This functionality goes a long way toward reducing driver stress.
Unsurprisingly, Big Data is also playing a part in smart parking systems, especially as it pertains to airport parking or lots connected to mass transit. For instance, analyzing a data set that includes flight or train schedules, total parking capacity and historical information on lot usage might allow management companies to create dynamic pricing based on day of the week and/or time of day, and update information fluidly via digital signage in real-time. Other data collected could also help enrich and personalize the end user experience. For instance, some individuals may communicate a preference for parking in a certain lot or even area of a specific lot. Over time, the parking system could “learn” this preference and use digital displays to direct the user toward empty spaces in their preferred area if they were to be available. Smart parking systems can also be integrated with customized apps, allowing users to reserve and pay for parking spots ahead of time, earn loyalty rewards or even monitor their vehicles from afar.
While the decision to implement digital signage as part of a smart parking initiative is not a small investment, careful planning and a thorough grasp of your business’ desired outcomes will go a long way toward helping you to make the right choices to meet those objectives. We invite you to submit a request for proposal online or call (800) 628-3603 today and REDYREF will be there every step of the way to ensure your company’s unique digital signage needs and goals are met.