You know the feeling…
You need to run a quick errand, but you dread the trip the minute you get into the car.
You have to find parking – the evil errand nemesis.
You have high hopes. The excitement is squashed after you think you see a spot, but it’s only a fire hydrant.
You circle and circle and circle until patience is pushed to the limit. You are fooled by the fire hydrant again. You’re ready to pull your hair out.
Prayers have been answered as you finally find a spot, and following the unwritten parking etiquette, pull ahead of the spot, put on your blinker and start to back in when someone else pulls forward into it.
Now you’ve had it...along with the person who just stole the space! You decide the errand can wait.
These exact scenarios happen daily. In fact, an IBM global parking survey of commuters in 20 international cities found that nearly six out of 10 drivers abandoned their parking spot search at least once and have spent an average of nearly 20 minutes in pursuit of a coveted spot.
And, more than a quarter have gotten into an argument with a fellow motorist over a parking space.
The simple act of parking has become a vicious competition causing grief, frustration or worse.
Parking is Getting Easier…and Smarter
That’s all changing, however, thanks to a new solution from IBM and Streetline.
The companies have partnered to provide advanced parking analytics solutions – powered by IBM Cognos business analytics software – to help cities of all sizes reduce congestion, better manage parking availability and city resources.
The solution detects the presence of car through a network of low-power wireless sensors located at individual parking spaces.
This information is then communicated in real time to the city as well as consumers through Parker™, a free app that can be downloaded through iTunes or the Android marketplace, alerting drivers to the number of available spots on a particular street at that point in time.
Using the real-time parking data combined with IBM Cognos software, cities can then read the reports and dashboards to understand important factors such as occupancy, parking duration and other trends by area.
Just think of the possibilities for the cities:
· Insight from real-time and historical data can help them become more proactive in city planning and merchant services;
· Reduction of anger, frustration, bitterness of its citizens now that the city offers an easy way to locate parking;
· Less traffic and city congestion (it’s reported that 30 percent of traffic is caused from people parking);
· Improved budget management and the ability to optimize enforcement resources around areas where there are higher violations; and,
· Better understanding where occupancy is the highest, which could lead to policy reform or increased enforcement.