The Real Size and Cost of Parking Problems

Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes


Finding a parking spot is never easy.

While there are times that drivers get lucky and find a parking spot at their destination, those stories seem to be far less frequent than the horror stories of circling the block endlessly in frustration.

There is a lot of debate as to how to solve parking problems, at times, it’s exhaust…ing, so this blog series aims to add an economic and technological basis of understanding for solving todays parking problems.

What are the parking problems…?

Parking is notoriously inefficient and costly.

Parking is one of the few areas that has yet to undergo a digital revolution. It is still characterized by a very splintered supply and a very specific, time-sensitive demand. Moreover, drivers cannot see what their parking options are ahead of time. And so they can’t choose the parking options that best fits them.

Too many parking spots?

There are hundreds of millions of parking spots but we can never seem to find one. So, we opt to add more.

While adding parking seems like a good idea, it is often subjective as to what is the right amount to add. Estimations show that there are as many as 800 million parking spots across America. This represents as many as three parking spots for each of America’s 250 Million cars. Of course, that statistic is misleading as the spots are permanent and demanded parking spots are dynamic (who is looking for a parking spot at 10 pm at a Big Box store?). So how do we solve parking problems without adding more parking?


Firstly, How Much Parking Do We Need?

What’s more concerning is that there are few public initiatives to make better use of the existing spaces, and endless regulations that continue to pave the way to more under-used parking.

Zoning requirements are demanding (and ultimately subjective), policies seem to add more pavement, but not necessarily in the right places. A few upsetting examples of the ‘rationale’ behind parking requirements can be seen in Donald Shoup’s (Author of “The High Cost of Free Parking”) presentation (see min 16).

Secondly, More Parking Comes at a High Price

Photo credit: Matthew Oliphant via / CC BY-ND

While we might think more parking is better, more parking can prove to hamper a city’s growth and impair its quality of life. In studies conducted by Garrick et al of UConn, some cities lose upwards of $1000/ per parking space, per year. That figure comes from lower tax revenue generated by parking spaces vs. buildings. To quantify that loss, Garrick cites Hartford, that loses an estimated $50 million per year in tax revenue due to the oversupply of parking.

Of course, this foregone revenue is made up by either higher taxes or smaller budgets for other (more important) services. So too much parking also has a price.

But, what does this mean for you, looking for a carpark?

Simply put, we need smart parking, this calls for AI in automotive and mobility industries. In order to provide true solutions to parking problems that we have today. AI in automotive and mobility, specifically on mobile phones of drivers can provide real data to understand how people are parking and allow for relevant parking analytics to be drawn. With this data, and parking analysis, municipalities will be able to provide the relevant solutions for the parking problems.

Even greater still, is having the ability to understand parking availability in real-time for the day-to-day parking seekers. Anagog’s JedAI Edge-AI software is using its AI algorithms on the phone to predict the driver’s behavior. JedAI’s ability to learn the driver’s activities and behavior patterns, combined with understanding the time of the activity and location enable relevant insights for when they potentially are leaving parking spots. With JedAI as part of an application, a platform for community based drivers / parkers is created – automatic and in real-time understanding of a driver’s mobility, specifically when they will be leaving the parking spot, of which other drivers can be notified that the spot will become vacant within the next five minutes.

To learn more see our automotive solutions, or get in touch!

An entrepreneur and Signal Processing expert with 16 years of multi-disciplinary experience in leading technology groups in a wide range of fields including speech, audio, video, biology and physics. Gil holds a B.Sc. from Tel-Aviv University, and an MBA from Ben-Gurion University.

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