Chirag Jain is CEO of Getmyparking.com a venture he started in 2015 (based out of New Delhi, India). Chirag graduated from Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 2013 and worked in Automotive Industry for 2 yrs before starting his entrepreneurial journey. Chirag has keen interest in urban planning and was also awarded the best delegate award at New York Global Young Leaders Summit under United Nations Development Program. He has spent over 6 months in S.Korea, 3 months in Malaysia and other S-E Asian countries, and has sound knowledge of the overall ecosystem.
What’s harder than driving on Indian roads is finding a place to park one’s vehicle. As the number of vehicles multiply, the situation is worsening by the day. It’s no wonder that when experts attempt to work out solutions for India’s parking woes, they often recommend a complete overhaul of the current system. While starting afresh is nearly impossible, several urbanists and city planners are gravitating towards digital parking solutions, given the limitations of the parking infrastructure and the heavy traffic of vehicles.
In the foreseeable future, dedicated parking policies will become a prerequisite for the successful deployment of any specific smart parking technology, especially with the arrival of smart cities in India. Digital parking solutions are quickly changing the whole scenario as smart parking systems are capable of conveying to drivers the real-time data about vacant parking lots in their preferred locations before they arrive. Digital parking apps combine hardware like cameras and sensors with software-comprising consumer operator apps, AI etc. to make parking stress-free, swift and less time-consuming.
Tips for Parking Management in India
With digital parking solutions, parking space providers have the opportunity to enhance customer experience while gaining access to a more precise, holistic and real-time picture of how existing facilities are being used. Digital parking solutions also allow operators to make smarter use of available space.
Here are a few tips for parking operators on how to provide a better parking experience to users:
- Employ Technology & Data Analytics
Data analytics and a modernized IT infrastructure can help ensure real-time tracking and end-to-end visibility of the parking spaces. Operators must also explore the landscape of available technology capabilities to commodities like mobile payments, crowdsourcing, IoT applications, telematics and blockchain for ways to add value and improvise operations.
- Improve the Infrastructure
Planning new parking policies alone will not suffice in solving the parking space problem in a country like India. There needs to be a proper infrastructure in place to park and manage the vehicles. This is why authorities need to devise new and better ways for creating larger parking spaces in cities – for example, constructing multi-level parking lots which are either conventional or automated. Digitized parking spaces are easy to manage and will help solve a large chunk of problems in Indian parking.
- Location Management
Since location is critical in parking, it becomes essential to effectively select and manage sites in order to predict and plan for customer behavior and probable traffic patterns. Instead of designing customized parking plans for every location, parking space providers should engage in establishing repeatable procedures. It is advised to work with relevant government agencies to create flexible regulatory requirements as per the changing parking demands. All this will help reduce planning costs.
- Demand Management & Efficient Pricing Systems
For private sector parking companies, competitive pricing is crucial in areas where parking services are available in abundance. Governments need effective pricing to strike the right balance between encouraging drivers to visit important business areas while avoiding congestion and long-drawn search times. Visibility into parking space utilization and traffic can lead to better and dynamic pricing systems which will match supply and demand accordingly.
- Build Strong Partnerships
Industry operators who are competing for management contracts at private and public properties must develop strong relationships with different partners to ensure that their operations last long and help create a more valuable and differentiated service. Providers can also enter into partnerships with automotive OEMs to plan new parking needs of vehicles, with tech companies to create new solutions that improve customer experience, with finance and payment companies to devise innovative ways for collecting revenue from parking or with local pop-up businesses to manage varying parking demands.
If parking solutions and systems in India are designed with these tips in mind while implementing a rapid technological evolution, parking is bound to become a pleasant experience and a major attraction, especially in smart cities. The mismatch between available parking spots and vehicles will be addressed effectively, and parking will no longer be a cause for conflict in our cities.