On Tuesday, Siemens Industry, Inc. and Streetline, a provider of smart parking services, announced an advanced parking service combining smart parking meters, sensors and applications to provide cities with parking options for residents and visitors while reducing traffic congestion in downtown areas.
Limited parking is a problem in most urban areas and results in increased traffic congestion and emissions, says Siemens. In fact, up to 30% of total traffic volume in downtown areas consists of motorists searching for parking. Siemens' on- and off-street parking service, with hundreds of service locations across the United States, allows the company to work with each city to develop a service based on its specific needs and provide ongoing service and support during implementation and throughout the life of the system.
The advanced parking service allows motorists to locate and pay for parking by providing real-time data to motorists through a free smartphone application that guides drivers to available parking spaces. The application leverages information from wireless sensors, which detect the presence of vehicles in individual parking spaces. Once parked, the consumer interface enables consumers to pay for parking using cash or credit cards at the meter or through the application on their mobile device, says Siemens (Munich, Germany). Additionally, the application's built-in timer allows drivers to keep track of how much time is left on the meter, add time to the meter and even pull up walking directions to help find their parking space when they need to return to their vehicle.
Simplifying the payment process for drivers typically results in increased parking revenue for cities, says the company. The cities can implement a central management system that enables operators to remotely monitor parking spaces and gain deeper insight into occupancy and duration, which can be used to optimize parking availability, inform smart planning, and implement demand-based pricing.
"Cities are facing the challenge of aging infrastructure, a growing population and limited financial resources," says Terry Heath, president, Mobility and Logistics division, Siemens Infrastructure & Cities. "Advanced parking is a way for Siemens to help the cities face this challenge. We can work with cities to implement a seamless parking solution that requires little to no upfront investment and will not only pay for itself over time through operating efficiencies, but also could help fund future infrastructure upgrades."