Nov 18, 2021
Nobody likes to drive around, seemingly aimlessly and forever, looking for an empty spot in a crowded parking garage. This is time that could be much better spent on the activities for which the parking facility is accommodating. Fortunately, engineers have developed technology to solve this problem: parking guidance systems. Learn more about how these systems facilitate a safer, more efficient parking facility while simplifying and enhancing the parking experience.
From airports to hospitals, and from theme parks to sporting arenas and shopping malls, a parking guidance system can be used in nearly every venue and provides motorists with real-time data about available parking spaces within a facility. In a nutshell, these systems are advanced car counting solutions. When a vehicle enters the premises, the system indicates how many available spots remain on a space available or variable message sign at the entrance. This prevents drivers from wandering through the facility looking for a parking spot only to find none available.
Even further advanced systems can provide precise information regarding available/occupied parking spots, such as their location within the facility. Rather than the space available sign saying only eight spots are remaining in the facility, these more advanced systems, in coordination with a space available sign, can pinpoint the locations of these spots. For example, the sign may read that there are two open parking spots on a garage’s first floor, two available spots on its second floor, and four on its third floor. This type of real-time information helps drivers quickly find an open parking place, further escalating the positive parking experience.
The combination of several technologies — communication, traffic monitoring, and data processing — serves as the “nuts and bolts” of parking guidance systems. As vehicles enter the parking garage or lot, they pass over loop detectors or under overhead sensors detecting the vehicle’s direction. When the vehicle triggers the detection mechanism, the differential counter captures that information and communicates it to a Master Controller. The Master Controller, in turn, communicates the vehicle counts to the sign, updating the LED count display in real-time. This same process is repeated as vehicles enter or exit a new level in a parking garage, accurately communicating available spaces on each level to be displayed on the space available sign.
These unique and innovative systems offer abundant benefits to both parking facility managers and vehicle operators. First and foremost, as previously mentioned, the time spent searching for an available parking space is significantly reduced. Facilities without guidance systems can have drivers wasting time searching for an available space that may or may not exist. Having a parking guidance system in place — complete with a space available, variable message sign — lets drivers know there are spaces open and where they are. This is a recipe for a successful parking experience and happy customers.
Consequently, when drivers know that there are parking spaces available and where to find them, there is a decrease in traffic congestion within the parking facility. By knowing where open spaces are in the facility, motorists can quickly get in and out of the facility, preventing unnecessary traffic build-up.
Parking facilities are pretty small areas with a high density of vehicles within them. With so many vehicles in such a small area, the likelihood of accidents is bound to increase, especially if motorists are impatient from unsuccessfully trying to find a place to park. But with the use of a parking guidance system, traffic is less congested because people can quickly and easily find open parking spaces, and the risk of vehicle collisions is subsequently reduced. This is a win for motorists and a win for parking facility managers. And since drivers know where to find their parking spots, less fuel is consumed, and fewer emissions are put into the air, which is a win for the environment.
Finally, the biggest benefit parking facility managers receive by implementing a parking guidance system is data, loads and loads of data. Each car entering and exiting the premises is a data point that can be examined, reviewed, and used to improve efficiency and bolster profitability. Some of these data points include:
Implementing a parking guidance system is a no-brainer for parking authorities looking to improve the performance of their facilities while simultaneously providing the best possible experience for customers. Signal-Tech’s RedStorm Parking Guidance System and its accompanying RedStorm Sign Control & Reporting Software are the industry-leading tools to achieve these goals. Contact us to learn more about them and how they can further benefit your business and your customers. We would love the opportunity to guide you through what solutions will work best for you and offer designs and quotes free of charge.