5 digital tools for faster, smarter parking
As long as cars exist, cities will need tools to manage parking infrastructure efficiently to ensure the best possible use of urban space.
In recent years, a handful of apps have started to tackle the problem of under-used space, helping users find vacant parking spots and landlords manage their space more effectively.
For cities, these apps could play a role in better use of space, limiting the number of new car parks and taking at least some cars off the street. Less time spent hunting for parking spots also means fewer carbon emissions.
Here are five apps that bring parking into the 21st century.
Name | ParkBee
What it does | ParkBee gives users access to under-used off-street parking in car parks, hotels and offices. Landlords can partner with ParkBee, which predicts prices and direct drivers to nearby available parking spots, to rent out unused spaces.
Notable users | Last week, Parkbee announced an agreement with European car park operator Q-Park, adding 54 locations across the UK to the software’s network.
Location | Close to 20,000 spots across the UK, Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.
Name | ParkOffice
What it does | Targeting offices, the software allows occupiers to manage their employees’ parking. Employees can check car park availability, book spaces and release their parking spots if they aren’t using them on a particular day. Managers can track occupancy and usage patterns over time.
Notable users | Colliers International and CBRE
Location | Headquartered in Dublin, ParkOffice has worked with companies around the world, including in Spain, Czech Republic and Australia.
Name | Cleverciti
What it does | Cleverciti wants to take luck and guesswork out of parking. Using overhead sensors in car parks and garages, the app tells drivers where they can find available parking spaces. Clients come from a range of sectors, including local authorities, hospitals, retail, airports, offices and car park operators.
Notable users | Cities that use Cleverciti include Berlin, San Antonio and Dubai. Other clients include The University of British Columbia in Vancouver and Ruhr Park, Germany’s largest open-air shopping mall.
Location | With an HQ in Munich, Cleverciti has offices in Germany, the UK and the US, but operates globally.
Name | Smart Parking
What it does | Along with standard parking tech functions – such as monitoring available spaces and directing users to those spaces – Smart Parking also has compliance management software that parking wardens can use to patrol areas and log cases. The software also allows local authorities to connect other IoT devices, aggregating a raft of services – such as Wi-Fi, surveillance and digital displays – in one place.
Notable users | Users include real estate developers like London-listed NewRiver REIT and councils like Cardiff and Westminster.
Location | UK, Australia and New Zealand
Name | Pebble
What it does | Created by Sidewalk Labs, Pebble is a small sensor that sticks to the ground and does precisely one thing: it tells landlords whether or not a particular parking space is occupied. Like other products on the list, the key goal is to fill up space already allocated to parking and to pinpoint unused land that could be put to better use.
Location | Sidewalk Labs is headquartered in New York. Pebble is available in “limited deployments”, according to its website.