What is parking fee management system?
With the increase in the number of on road vehicles everyday, parking has becoming a commonly faced problem in most metropolitan cities. Parking management systems are thereby, being employed by most companies, shopping malls, tech parks, amusement parks, and other public areas.
The key advantage of using a well designed parking management system is the collection of parking fee. Manual collection of parking fee has always been a hassle, even more so when fee theft is prevalent. Automatic, or rather documented collection of parking fee makes it possible for parking space owners to virtually eliminate theft as every entry and every exit gets documented along with proper date and time. The reports may be stored in a cloud platform or offline on a computer depending on the requirement.
Different parking spaces have different requirements. For instance, a residential complex may not require the collection of parking fee but may want to facilitate the entry of registered users. On the other end of the spectrum, a shopping mall may not have registered users but may want the collection of parking fees. And there may be a third type, such as a tech park, that may require both – the documentation of registered vehicles as well as the collection of parking fee. Depending on the requirement of the parking space owner, a parking management system is chosen. Smartpower has been among the first ones in India to identify the problem of parking management and come up with solutions to solve almost any problem. The latest addition to the Smartpower technology family is the Android OS based POS (point of sale) system, which identifies the vehicle number, generates a quick response (QR) code, prints a receipt, records the entry of the vehicle and may even read and write an RFID card while opening the boom barrier or gate. It is a complete solution to facilitate the entry of the vehicle and meanwhile, this report is sent to the cloud storage, so that it can be accessed by the POS at the exit gate even before the vehicle leaves the parking space.
Apart from this, Smartpower has the TCP/IP based parking system, the wireless parking system, the wired parking system. One unique feature about Smartpower’s parking systems is that they can be unmanned, i.e. fully automatic. Such that, a card will be dispensed automatically at the entry when a vehicle enters, the the mifare card will store data, and will be read at the exit when the vehicle leaves. Based on the type of vehicle (2 wheeler / 4 wheeler) and the duration through which the vehicle occupied a parking space, the vehicle owner will be charged a certain fee.
As described earlier, the advent of an automatic parking system unlocks several other possibilities which were hard to foresee earlier. Some of them are mentioned below:
1.1 App based payment collection
Once we have the data of multiple parking zones all across the city and all across the country, we could use this data to build an app similar to getmyparking where we can rent parking spaces to users with the click of a button on their mobile phone. Parking spaces can be browsed and selected at will, and cashless payments can be facilitated.
1.2 Cloud based database
With constant data being collected, we easily get valuable insights about common problems related to parking. A cloud based database could be made to store this information, and this confidential cloud will only be made accessible to companies which are ready to pay a recurring expense for the service. Several companies would require this service, as they lack the hardware to automatically gather information about parking spaces and manually gathering information is no more a feasible task in today’s world.
1.3 Preventing parking fee theft
A very common problem that we see in third world cities like ours is the theft of parking fee by the personnel responsible for facilitating parking. They charge the visitors more than they are supposed to, and often accept bribes from other vehicle owners to allow them to park where they are not authorized to. This entire problem could be put an end to if our system is implemented in parking zones. Since we know the exact number of slots that are occupied and vacant, any personnel will be stripped of the power
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to utilize vacant parking spaces for unethical purposes. This will also work as an incentive to several shopping mall owners and parking mymedic.es space owners to purchase our system, as the cost may be recovered from the money saved by preventing thefts.
1.4 Integration of multiple parking zones
A possibility which could only have been unlocked with the use of microcontrollers, is the integration of multiple parking zones in one. Counter ICs had no provision of writing codes, so no changes could have been made once the circuit was ready. But in this case, even if we have multiple floors in one parking area, integrating all of them to show a single total, or connecting them using a cloud interface becomes a possibility. We could take an output from one of the microcontrollers and feed it into any of the other microcontrollers. And the system would be capable enough to utilize that information to create something even more powerful.
1.5 Integration with parking guidance system
In simple words, a parking guidance system is one in which a user is shown the way to an empty parking space without having to look for it. This is currently not possible with our system, however, this can be implemented in the near future using app based guidance systems, or wireless vehicle detectors installed in the parking lots.
1.6 Integration with commonly available parking hardware
Commonly available parking hardware such as entry gates, barriers, tyre killers, and RFID systems could be easily integrated with our parking system to do more, as and when vehicles enter the parking space. Unauthorized vehicles could be stopped with tyre killers; the flow of vehicles could be controlled with the help of barriers; vehicles could be tagged and let in seamlessly with the help of RFID systems in areas where familiar vehicles come in a lot.
1.7 Collection of stats and data for the government
It is a well known fact that the primary reason behind cities and governments being unable to implement smart parking, is the lack of relevant data. Smart parking is only possible if the space owners have real time information about the availability of spots in their parking zones. This is made possible with our system. Therefore, we can predict that this system will solve a lot of other problems by sending in relevant data about the spaces.
1.8 Surge Pricing
A concept of the near future; once we know when the demand for parking spaces is maximum, we can utilize that information to impose surge pricing for a parking spot. For instance, the parking space in and around eden gardens is usually empty on a regular day, but is overflowing on a day when there is a cricket match. We can impose surge pricing in such locations and generate greater revenue.