Customer Resistance an Issue for Some Smart Parking Deployments
|source: Redtone IoT|
How particular smart cities services--including smart parking-- will sustain themselves is a big issue. Irrespective of “soft” value (less air pollution, less traffic), how revenue can be generated to pay for the smart parking infrastructure and operations remains an issue.
User opposition is among the potential roadblocks or issues. One suburban shopping area--which has featured free parking--now is converted to a an app-based paid parking system.
The Reston Town Center in Virginia is activating the new system Sept. 12, 2016, and local residents are--as you would expect--unhappy about the switch to paid parking. Some are unhappy about potentially needing to use the app system, as well.
ParkRTC customers can use an app, website or on-site pay stations that accept credit or debit cards or exact change only.
Park Assist is the system supplier for the area of 50 shops, 30 restaurants, an 11-screen cinema, and other amenities, as well as 9,000 parking spaces in seven parking garages.
Passport is the mobile payment parking provider.
Garages rates will range from $2 for the first hour to $24 for 12 to 24 hours. The street rate will be $3 for the first hour and $6 for between one and two hours.
The system relies on license plate recognition, LED-based space indicators, electronic display boards to indicate quantity of available spaces, and online space counts in real time.
Upon entering one of the center’s seven garages, drivers will locate an available parking space using green and red light indicators. Once parked, the system will read the vehicle’s license plate, and the driver must initiate a parking session, through either the ParkRTC app or ParkRTC.com using a pre-set four-digit pin, or at a pay station.
Using the app or website, driver credit cards will be charged automatically based on their pre-selected length of stay. If using the app or website, drivers will have the option of extending stays remotely.
To be sure, the smart parking features are less the issue than the conversion to paid parking. But the issue remains: would the smart parking have been instituted if the parking revenue were not available to support it?
The business case will be different in urban areas where paid parking already is the norm, to be sure. Still, potential customer confusion or resistance is among the obstacles. No value chain is complete without the customer who supplies the revenue.