Improving the management of parking spots in loading and unloading areas is a necessary measure in any city’s mobility plan. In recent years, there has been a boom in e-commerce, so urban policies should focus in part on helping transportation companies to deliver the last mile in an orderly manner and on achieving an ideal balance between all users, from pedestrians to vehicles.
After all, in addition to the proliferation of on-line commerce, all town centers have traditional businesses that need to use these parking spots reserved on public roads to work properly. From receiving and dispatching goods to parking for order deliveries, drivers of goods and transportation company vehicles are allowed to use loading and unloading parking spots.
All other users of vehicles of any kind, including Personal Mobility Vehicles (PMVs), may neither park nor stop in these spots. But parking spaces reserved on public roads are misused every day. And that causes all kinds of traffic problems in cities: from traffic jams to a high concentration of vehicles looking for parking (traffic jostling) because the misuse of loading and unloading spots or double-parked cars causes a domino effect.
For these reasons, at Urbiotica we want to offer tech solutions to put an end to the misuse of loading and unloading spots in cities. All citizens benefit from these tools, which have repercussions on the economy, mobility, and tourism.
Technology to improve the management of parking spots in loading and unloading areas
The technology used to serve the interests of cities and their inhabitants takes shape in solutions for loading and unloading spots such as U-Spot sensors, which are flush-mounted, magnetic, autonomous single-spot parking sensors. Detection is also possible with cameras that process images through U-Spot VISIO Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning software.
How do they operate and improve the management of spots reserved for loading and unloading goods?
Detection of a vehicle occupying a reserved parking spot
These sensors and cameras, which operate over NB-IoT or LoRaWAN communication networks, detect the presence of vehicles in reserved and regulated parking spots, such as loading and unloading zones. So when a vehicle parks in the spot, they check whether or not it is authorized to do so. If not, an alert is issued for the driver to remove the vehicle to allow the spot to be used by authorized delivery drivers and carriers from goods transportation or similar companies.
In this sense, they simply detect that there is a car occupying the spot, but in what specific way can they effectively control parking spots in loading and unloading areas?
Mobile app to confirm authorized drivers
The 360-degree solution includes a mobile app to confirm and verify that those parking in the spaces are authorized drivers and users of these technologies. The identification is therefore error-free and reliable and reliably distinguishes between authorized and unauthorized users.
In this way, the technology combines different devices (detection sensors or cameras, advanced communication networks, and mobile apps) to ensure orderly, sustainable urban mobility so that only authorized vehicles park.
The app also tells drivers how much time they have available; that is, it tells them how much time is left before the parking spot has to be vacated for another driver. This optimizes working time in an orderly, simple, and efficient way and carrier productivity is increased.
Guiding carriers to free loading and unloading spots in Real-time
Another technology that helps to improve the management of parking spots in urban loading and unloading zones is the ParkTime app. How does it work? It is a mobile app that guides drivers to free spots in real time.
Thanks to this application, carriers do not have to drive around looking for an available loading and unloading spot to park. If this guidance is added to detection and confirmation of authorized drivers through the app, the digital solutions described in this article lead to huge cost savings and a reduction in the environmental impact of vehicle traffic.
Why? Because it lowers the amount of time vehicles spend on city streets looking for parking, in this case freight transport vehicles. This speeds up the time it takes to find a parking spot, get the job done, and free up the loading and unloading spot. At the same time, it lowers stress, eases traffic congestion, reduces noise pollution from traffic jams, and improves city dwellers’ lives and health.
Efficient monitoring to ensure the good use of spots
Finally, an essential function is monitoring loading and unloading spots. By detecting misuse of these spots by both unauthorized users and vehicles overstaying their time, real-time alerts of these violations can be sent to the traffic officers.
This optimizes the usual monitoring routes, resulting in more efficient management and reduced costs. But the benefits go beyond operational savings. By sensing the existence of comprehensive surveillance, drivers tend to make better use of parking spots, which in turn improves overall mobility.
This efficient monitoring system not only optimizes resources and lowers costs, but it also promotes parking enforcement. The result is a more orderly and accessible parking environment, leading to greater satisfaction among both users and citizens in general.
The reality of parking spots in loading and unloading areas
Here are some solutions to improve their control and efficiency of loading and unloading areas in urban centers. Why are they necessary and why should they be implemented in cities, with successful examples in Castellón de la Plana and Teruel? The first reason is to prevent misuse of loading and unloading parking spots, because of the traffic problems this causes and the way it disturbs the work of carriers, as mentioned above.
This reality has led cities to implement technological solutions to solve these problems, with the aim of curbing the traffic chaos and congestion that is detrimental to all citizens and vehicle drivers. Providing a solution benefits everyone, promotes the general wellbeing of all inhabitants, and results in better urban mobility and higher quality of life.
Sustainable mobility in Spain according to IMSCE 2021
The importance of improving sustainable mobility is evidenced by results such as those of the second Index of Sustainable Mobility Cities in Spain (IMSCE) 2021, prepared by Idencity together with the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors (AECOC). This report, based on analysis of 138 indicators in 82 cities, states that the average score of Spanish cities is 50.8%.
These indicators, divided into five categories – mobility and transportation, environment, economy, society, and government – reflect a variety of factors, from accessibility and use of public transportation to air quality and the level of greenhouse gas emissions. It aims to provide a comprehensive and balanced overview of the current status of sustainable mobility in these cities.
In terms of the indicators on supply and demand for mobility services, Spanish cities score an average of 44.2% and 41.6%, respectively. The supply indicator refers to the availability and quality of sustainable transportation options, such as public transportation, cycling infrastructures, and pedestrian areas. On the demand side, this indicator measures how much these sustainable options are actually used by citizens.
On the other hand, the indicator of the physical structure of the area, which evaluates elements such as population density, proximity of services, and connectivity of the transportation network, receives an average score of 42.9%.
These data reflect the importance of continuing to work to improve the supply and use of sustainable mobility services, as well as mobility-oriented urban planning, in Spanish cities. The aim should be to achieve higher scores on these sustainable mobility indicators in order to build cleaner, more efficient, and friendlier cities. Therefore, at Urbiotica we are convinced of the need to invest in digital solutions to improve the management and monitoring of parking spots in loading and unloading zones, as well as in all the other reserved and regulated parking spots in cities. Traffic density, pollution, and parking problems due to a host of reasons mean that there is no alternative but to look for solutions to prevent city centers from imploding. And when it comes to the loading and unloading of goods, this technology already exists and is highly efficient.
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