How to lower traffic congestion in cities with regulated parking

Sustainable urban mobility policies today must take into account all aspects of driving. A very important one is parking management, and here are some notes on how to lower traffic congestion in cities with smart parking.

What is smart parking? It is using advanced technologies to offer drivers a simple and satisfying driving experience so they can find parking quickly. It aims to lower chaos through technology and achieve the traffic fluidity that is so necessary in modern cities, where there are mobility problems caused in part by the fraudulent use of regulated spots or a lack of parking infrastructure to meet vehicle demands.

And for this, smart parking delivers solutions aimed at improving parking and mobility, with technologies based on artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and real-time information management. Among them, the following fundamental tools stand out:

  • Occupancy data collection       
  • Guidance apps
  • Variable signaling panels

3 TOOLS TO LOWER traffic congestion with smart parking

We at Urbiotica are experts in developing technologies with the clear goal of facilitating circulation and improving mobility in cities. Through the technologies and solutions mentioned above, we make the most advanced technologies available to all the sector’s players to achieve sustainable, orderly and fluid mobility.

As part of this goal and through extensive technological work, we are able to share the following three tools to tools traffic congestion in cities with smart parking. As you will see, this is a global strategy or solution, and so it should be done completely


1.-Data uptake on parking spOT occupancy    

In order to decongest traffic in cities with smart parking, vehicle entry and exit in each parking spot will have to be detected using U-Spot parking sensors installed in each spot, or using U-Spot VISIO, which uses cameras and software for single-spot detection that works with artificial intelligence. The aim is to achieve a real-time record of the number of free spots in a parking lot through two actions: certifying the presence of a parked vehicle or counting the vehicle movements if it is a delimited car park.

These devices communicate information in real time through the Internet of Things and a variety of systems, such as NB-IoT mobile networks (U-Spot M2M sensors) or LoRaWAN (U-Spot 3.0 sensors).

Since we are talking about several different methodologies or types of devices that form a whole set of digital solutions, detection sensors have to be accompanied by systems to guide drivers to areas where there is free parking.

Furthermore, when working with smart parking platforms such as Urbiotica, it is also possible to integrate data from off-street parking lots and other third-party systems to provide a 360-degree global solution on the occupancy of all available monitored parking lots, and thus to offer a better user experience. This means that centralized real-time information on parking availability at different locations can be accessed to make decision-making and route planning easier.

2.- Driver guidance APPS

Guidance apps to areas with available parking spots for drivers are another digital solution to lower traffic congestion and avoid traffic jams and chaos in cities, especially in areas with a large influx of tourists and the centers of large cities, which tend to be more complex.

These mobile apps allow registered users to check parking occupancy in real time to find out where to find a spot. The information transmitted in the apps comes from the data uptake carried out by the detection described in the first point.

GPS geolocation systems show the exact location of free spots and lead drivers there. This lowers the amount of time time that vehicles spend looking for a parking spot, a considerable challenge for Public Administrations because it is estimated that 30% of traffic in cities is from vehicles looking for parking.

3.- Information updated with variable signaling panels

For drivers who do not have mobile parking guidance apps installed on their smartphones, there are also road solutions that are equally easy to use. Variable signaling panels located in different areas in cities show the number of free spots in the parking lots in real time.

Parking lot managers are thus able to provide updated information regarding the areas where drivers can park their vehicles at all times thanks to the data captured online with the apps, and the variable signaling panels considerably lower the amount of time drivers spend looking for a parking spot. The environmental advantages are also notable: less driving time, noise pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, and the city’s inhabitants gain in quality of life in all senses.

On a personal level, it also lower drivers’ stress caused by spending a long time looking for a parking spot. Greater peace of mind when driving is also a way to lower traffic accident rates because drivers are more safely focused on the road and not on looking for a parking spot.

MONITORING of regulated parking spOTs

To lower congestion in cities with smart parking, the use of regulated and reserved parking spots also has to be monitored. This favors the use of those spots and the time allowed by authorized drivers only, and it therefore improves vehicle rotation in these spots, increasing their availability. Here are three clear examples in these three areas:

  • First, in regulated parking services, smart payments can be implemented to enable faster and more efficient transactions and identify drivers who are authorized or not to park. If a vehicle parks and does not pay or exceeds the time allowed, warnings are sent for the monitoring services to issue a fine.
  • Secondly, in spots reserved for people with reduced mobility, a notice or alert is also sent through the app when the smart parking systems detect fraudulent parking.
  • Thirdly, only carriers and delivery people can park in the loading and unloading spots. An app helps them identify themselves as authorized and receive notices of the time remaining. Real-time alerts makes traffic officers’ monitoring much more efficient, and misuse of these spots significantly drops.

Carga y Descarga

Loading and Unloading

Improve urban logistics by performing alert-based control to prevent misuse of these areas.
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These three examples show how efficient monitoring of these parking spots curtails illegal parking since users know they are being monitored and therefore use the spots properly, thus increasing parking availability. In short, today, and with a view to promoting smart and sustainable mobility in the future, there is a number of digital solutions to lower traffic congestion in cities with smart parking, such as those we develop at Urbiotica. They have many environmental, economic and tourist advantages, so the economic investment is quickly amortized and helps to bring about healthier lives and more orderly mobility in urban centers.

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