What does the future hold for the parking industry? And how can you ensure your business is not left behind – while maximising revenue from your car park and your business?
In this article, we explore some of the trending topics in the industry and how these might impact your business. We identify key ways in which your business can not only adapt to new trends, but lead in whatever the future holds for parking, retail and transportation.
3 Key Topics to Keep on Your Radar for the Future of Parking
1. Fewer Cars Per Household
One trend that we predict to be more prevalent in the future is that households are beginning to steer away from owning multiple cars. In the United Kingdom, we had been moving towards every household owning multiple cars, with an estimated 25.7 million households in the United Kingdom owning two cars in 2020, according to studies.
In 2020, however, fewer households owned cars, with an estimated 17 million households having no car. We predict that these figures will grow as sustainability is an increasing focus for many, and public transport infrastructure becomes more efficient. This is compounded by younger generations adopting technology that supports ridesharing.
This all means that the parking industry needs to rethink how far their parking facilities serve a greater purpose, by offering functions broader than simply providing a place to leave your car. From electric vehicle charging to working as a hub for greater connection into the city, the industry needs to continue to improve and add value to their offer to motorists.
2. Automation and Self-driving Cars
We cannot discuss the future without mentioning the potentially most disruptive and revolutionary element in the future of parking – autonomous and self-driving vehicles. With automotive innovation moving at a rapid pace, we are now very few years away from cars not only being able to drive themselves for motorists, but also, to find spaces and park themselves – even without anyone in the vehicle.
This means a potentially more efficient parking flow, with a customer being dropped off at the door of your business, and the car setting off to the nearest free space – all while communicating with other cars and with the environment around it.
This advancement will require the greatest innovations from the industry, councils, communities, technological innovators and key people like urban planners. The ways in which car parking facilities communicate – both physically and via the cloud – creating a smarter city will enable autonomous technology to be truly life-changing for the average person visiting a business. Without innovation in the parking industry to adapt and support this new technology, self-driving cars’ advancement will be held back and the parking industry will not be fit for purpose.
3. Further Adoption of Apps
Inevitably, cash is slowly being replaced by contactless and digital payments and apps – and the parking industry faces the same future. Gone are the days of hoarding coins in your glove-box to fill up the pay and display machine in your local car park. Our future, and the emerging technology that will be widely adopted, will move motorists further away from this scenario.
This is partly what we looked to improve, in developing Y-Pay: identifying key ways in which the parking experience can be better – from finding a parking space to parking, paying, and even extending stays, remotely. As the app evolves, we will continue to solve common issues and difficulties faced in parking.
Companies that embrace such technology to provide an easier experience for their customers will set themselves up for success. The real industry leaders will take this one step further, looking at ways to use applications to generate incremental revenue from their car parks. By using features that promote and market their free spaces to people actively looking to park, selling permits, or offering exclusive offers to people seeking parking, businesses can drive additional revenue from spaces that might otherwise sit empty.
How Can Your Business Lead into the Future?
Forecasting the trajectory of innovation, taking these trends into account and pre-empting their impact on the parking industry means that wise business owners can lead their businesses to greater success. Think: given fewer cars on the road – how can you get a jump on the competition by adding extra value for customers? How can you gear up your car parks to meet the needs of increased automation and self-driving cars? And how can you use digitisation and mobile apps to boost your business’s income and profitability?
Parking is never about standing still.