Smart City Smart Parking – ReadWrite

The Internet of Things (IoT) will change smart city parking — and make everyone’s life easier in many ways. IoT will move beyond simple conveniences like fridges that reorder milk when you’re out — and your bathroom shower that turns on and finds just the right temperature when you’re near.

Instead, IoT will change how we experience our homes, cities, and worldwide communication and travel — even in your own smart city.

How About IoT Finding Your Parking Spot in Smart City Parking?

IoT will make every aspect of running errands easier, up to and including taking all the pain out of finding a place to park. Especially relevant will be how IoT finds your car a parking spot in cities.

As you begin the long, head-on-a-swivel hunt for a big enough spot to park your car, it legally will become something of the past with the aid of smart city planning and zones. But, as stories of the hour-long hunt for a better spot to park close to work — our kids won’t believe we ever put up with that.

The Latest Trends in Smart Vehicles and What They Mean for Smart Parking in Smart Cities

While many aspects of the IoT will help us more easily find parking. Yet the major innovation in this newfound convenience is the smart vehicle (also called a smart car).

Around the world, but especially in car cultures like the United States, smart vehicles will reshape everything about driving, from how and where we go to how we stop when we get there.

Smart vehicles will be one of the critical factors in the success of IoT, as they will be central to how to maneuver in ever-tightening living spaces when we travel around.

What’s a Smart Vehicle, Anyway?

A smart vehicle is anything we’ve been driving since the late 90s that had an onboard G.P.S. So any automobile featuring integrated, advanced electronics is already a “smart car.” Speaking broadly, you could count the microprocessors that have monitored mechanical functions in cars since the 60s.

Indeed, today the phrase “smart vehicle” would include the vehicles we drive, which feature around 100 microprocessors per vehicle. But for many, the cut-off between “car with computers in it” and “actual smart vehicle” is when the computers began providing functions beyond just making the automobile stop and go.

The Integrated G.P.S., etc.

Integrated G.P.S. is an excellent place to start thinking about smart vehicles — though some might argue that those 1980s brick-like car phones were the first genuine article.

Whether we count the phone or the G.P.S. first, by now, smart vehicles can do so much more than that effortless task.

The Smart Vehicles Today — in Smart City Parking

The smart vehicle of today automatically saves gas on smooth rides, toggles high beams on and off on dark roads, and tells us when we’re drifting into another lane. In addition, the vehicle will buzz and warn us if we look poised to fall asleep at the wheel.

Smart vehicles can scan the road for pedestrians, animals, or other cars. Effectively, smart vehicles bridge the gap between older, analog cars and the AI-driven autonomous vehicles still being perfected at places like Google and Tesla.

Finding the Best Ways to Relieve Stress in Parking

Our smart vehicles memorize how each driver likes the seat and mirrors and warn us if we’re about to back into a bus or integrate our G.P.S. with traffic reports and road hazard alerts. But, the best is yet to come as smart vehicles are finding new and fascinating ways to help take the stress out of parking.

If the car does any cool sci-fi thing —  except drive itself or flies (and there’s no saying our future flying vehicles can’t be smart, too!) — it is a smart vehicle.

Parking Smarter, Not Harder

Smart Parking refers to a whole suite of technologies and innovations that makes it easier to find a place to stop your car.

Smart vehicles will integrate with one another with specialized smart parking apps and smart spaces within the city to efficiently and painlessly find spaces near their drivers’ destinations.

Though it seems like just one more component in the tapestry of IoT, Smart Parking will drastically reduce the drain on people’s time while on the job, running errands, or out enjoying themselves, and contribute significantly to the efficiency and livability of our developing Smart Cities.

Innovation in Smart Car Tech

The best way to understand the different ways that smart vehicles will change how we park is to look at the many new innovations in smart car technology. What difference can each type of technology make in the parking experience?

The better we understand what’s next for smart vehicles, the better prepared we’ll be to leverage the technology and reshape how we get around our smart cities.

Communication Skills in Smart Tech, Including Smart City Parking

Perhaps the foundational and most important innovation in smart vehicle technology is the Internet of Things itself. This means the communication skills and interconnectedness of cars with online uplinks.

Stable onboard internet connections

As more vehicles are produced with stable onboard internet connections, they will be able to form a network and communicate to create a comprehensive, shared picture of what’s happening on the road.

Accidents and Roadblocks

Not only will accidents and blockages be reported immediately, encouraging drivers to reroute before a traffic jam can form — but accidents can also be avoided entirely as a mechanical breakdown. One vehicle can be promptly reported to other cars in the area, allowing them to stop immediately.

Car-to-Car Internet Communication

If any single invention besides A.I. is vital to the advent of autonomous vehicles, it’s car-to-car internet communication.

Not surprisingly, car-to-car communication is just as helpful in finding a place to stop as where and when to go. Cars on the network could communicate where drivers are going. When someone is leaving a nearby parking space, internet communication can coordinate the timing of arrivals and departures so that one vehicle is scheduled to arrive just as the other departs.

For either street or lot parking, the interconnectedness of the internet signals can create a seamless transition between vehicles. Every parking period can effectively become scheduled and automated, with every car in the network communicating parking spot availability seamlessly.

The J.A.R.V.I.S. Experience

Remember how before he became a lovesick magenta robot and lost his dry wit, Tony Stark’s supercomputer in the Avengers movies was called J.A.R.V.I.S.? Tony could control J.A.R.V.I.S. through slick, intuitive hand motions to make projected holographic images grow and shrink, spin and zoom?

Just Move Your Hands to Contact Your Vehicle

That incredibly nerdy J.A.R.V.I.S. reference is an example of a system employing 3D gestures, which users use to interact with computers by moving their hands. The hand movement responds to augmented reality (or, if we’re really being futuristic, projected) interface.

No interface is even necessary so long as the gestures are precise. But soon, we will be able to select music, set climate preferences, speed up or slow down, and otherwise wholly control our vehicles just by moving our hands.

How does a system of 3D gestures change parking?

Imagine approaching your destination and seeing a 3D image of the nearest parking structure. The image can highlight parking spots closest to your destination through IoT that is likely to become available soon.

All you need to do is point to the spot you want to park then your navigation system will lead you to the parking structure you prefer — and just in time.

Soon, just like swiping on a smartphone — you will be able to move between potential spaces and set parking times. You’ll even be able to use gestures to maneuver into and out of spots or call another vehicle out from tight spaces when returning from errands.

All World Gadgets Integrated into Your Car

No discussion of the Internet of Things is complete without talking about all the connected things and all those that will be interconnected in the future.

As we integrate all our devices into the IoT, we will definitely include our vehicles, which will be connected with our phones, our smartwatches, and our home organization devices like Siri, Alexa, or Cortana.

This interconnectivity means we will never be far from a way to communicate with our cars. For example, a simple tap of a phone or watch could draw a car out of a parking spot. In addition, you’ll be able to interface with your vehicle’s cameras to see if a more desirable area has opened up nearby to remotely pilot the car into a better, closer parking spot.

While relaxing at home before running errands, drivers could reserve parking spaces using their home organization tools, merging the seamlessness of the IoT with the convenience of smart parking — and smart everything else.

Automation Rules the Nation

When discussing smart city parking as a concept, most people’s thoughts likely go to a feature many vehicles already possess: automated parking. Automated parking refers to vehicles that can perform the maneuver of parking on their own.

Some vehicles can only park in perpendicular spaces (think parking lots), while newer models can parallel park so quickly that many people will have flashbacks to their driving exams.

This automation parking feature, still most common in upper-mid or upscale automobiles, is a bit of simple autonomous driving that is worked into an otherwise human-controlled vehicle. So its utility for parking is pretty straightforward, right?

Automated parking helps you park, but sparing drivers the hassle of scooching into a tiny parallel spot is just the beginning of what semi-autonomous parking can do to advance the cause of smart parking.

How Much Autonomy Will Your Car Possess?

With just a bit more autonomy, these vehicles could pull into and out of parking spots all independently. Can you picture your car dropping you off at the door of your destination and then self-piloting over to your network-designated location?

The car could then do the same thing in reverse and pull out of the spot and pick the driver up where they’d gotten out.

Rather than full, AI-driven autonomy, this feature would harness interconnectivity to control all the connected cars in a lot — like cogs in a machine. The car would move through a smart city parking space in a designated order, using existing collision detection features to avoid accidents.

Cameras on Cars and Other Vehicles for Smart Parking in Smart Cities

Many vehicles currently have cameras on them. From the complex array of cameras, RADAR, LIDAR, SONAR, and more on an autonomous vehicle to the backup cameras on a standard sedan, smart cars are brimming with visual recording devices.

These cameras are used primarily for navigation and safety to help drivers find their way and maneuver without causing accidents. But thanks to the IoT, a car laden with cameras is a moving source of helpful information about traffic, road conditions, and smart city parking for other vehicles out and about.

Connected to the Network, a Car Easily Moves Through the City

As cars connected to the network move through the city, their cameras could film the conditions on the road and the presence of parking spots. They could then inform other cars on the smart city parking network that these spots are available.

With straightforward communication or interconnectedness — even vehicles or their owners not on the network could have interconnectedness through their phone’s presence be factored into the network’s data. All drivers could know when a spot is available regardless of whether the past occupant is uplinked or not.

Applying analytics to this data could help create predictive trend models for parking in any area, accurately projecting where and how frequently spots become available to guide the smart parking process.

Smart City Parking Lots — Lots Better

Smart parking will benefit more than just drivers and vehicle owners — it will also be a significant source of efficiency and monetization for the owners of parking lots.

The IoT-connected smart cars can schedule each other’s parking times and locations, then interface with participating parking lots to position every vehicle into the most advantageous spots.

With IoT in cities, will mean smart city parking. It will even be possible to rotate an entire garage’s worth of cars using the IoT to reposition vehicles to more convenient locations.

Automated parking garages use complex machinery to move immobile vehicles around. With a fully connected smart garage, the cars would move independently, programmed in concert through the IoT.

Automated parking also means that vehicles can park much closer together.

Without drivers and passengers needing to get in and out, cars can park inches apart, dramatically saving space and allowing lots to fit in many more cars. In addition, using the same system, these cars can all move through the lot automatically, which means that drivers can leave their vehicles at the lot entry.

The network of interlinked vehicles in smart city parking would maneuver their car into a good parking spot and then wait at the designated location for their car to come rolling up on its own.

Park-by-car could keep pedestrians out of the parking lot itself, increasing both safety and smoothness of operations. Vehicles in smart city parking would enter and exit spots without waiting for pedestrians to pass.


Smart city parking is, again, just one of the many ways in which the Internet of Things will empower our devices to facilitate a streamlined modern culture better.

Every new innovation in smart automobile technology will have its own effect on smart parking, making the process more and more efficient.

For those of us who will never give up our right to enjoy driving, smart city parking will at least take the hassle out of looking for a great parking spot and will make sure that lot proprietors can maximize the value of their space.

Image Credit: by Kostiantyn Stupak; Pexels; Thank you!

Jeremy Zuker

Jeremy Zuker

CEO and Founder

Jeremy Zuker is the co-founder of WhereiPark, a technology company that enables multifamily residential and commercial property owners to discover new revenue sources through innovative solutions that leverage unused parking spaces.

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