Smart parking on the rise: 1 million spaces by 2020

Mon, 2013-06-10 12:15 -- Jesse Berst

At first glance, smart parking might seem like a trivial part of the overall smart transportation issue. In point of fact, however, it is becoming a cornerstone of smart mobility strategies. According to a new report from Navigant Research, the number of smart parking spaces hit nearly 1 million by 2020.

Some experts say that 10-30% of all downtown traffic comes from people circling to find a space. Those people are not just clogging the street, they are also polluting the air and wasting time that could be used productively. That helps to explain why smart parking is much more than a convenience. It is an essential part of a sustainable transport plan. -- Jesse Berst

Nearly 1 Million Smart Parking Spaces Will Be Enabled Worldwide by 2020, Forecasts Navigant Research

Faced with growing environmental and economic pressures on city transportation, cities are reexamining how and where parking is provided, and developing a more balanced view that better manages parking supply and demand. Enabled by new technologies, innovative approaches to parking are becoming a cornerstone of cities' mobility strategies. According to a new report from Navigant Research, the installed base of on-street smart parking spaces will surpass 950,000 worldwide by 2020.

"The parking industry is going through its biggest evolution since the introduction of the first parking meters in Oklahoma City in 1935," says Eric Woods, research director with Navigant Research. "It is being transformed by new technologies that are increasing operational efficiency and customer expectations, and by new perspectives on the role of parking within cities."

Essentially, the goal of smart parking is to enable both drivers and parking managers to optimize the use of parking capacity. A number of technologies provide the basis for smart parking solutions, including vehicle sensors, wireless communications, and data analytics. Smart parking is also made viable by innovation in areas such as smartphone apps for customer services, mobile payments, and in-car navigation systems. At the heart of the smart parking concept is the ability to access, collect, analyze, disseminate in real time, and act on parking usage information.

The report, "Smart Parking Systems", examines the evolution of smart parking technologies and the smart parking system market, with a particular focus on on-street parking. The report analyzes the drivers for the transformation in parking, including financial, environmental, and economic factors, and assesses approaches to parking in different regions. Detailed profiles of major smart parking projects are provided, and the report forecasts the size and growth of the market for smart parking systems through 2020, including hardware, software, and services. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.


Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to subscribe to SmartCitiesNow, the weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques.