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Connected Cities Battle the Fight Over Parking

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Connected cities around the world continue to introduce machine-to-machine solutions to improve inner-city parking management. And, it’s no wonder why.

According to a study of 11 cities on 4 continents, inner-city drivers spend on average 8 minutes searching for curb side parking and contribute to 30% of congested downtown traffic. Drivers in the world’s largest cities have it worse. In New York City, drivers spend 10 minutes on average looking for parking and contribute to 45% of congestion in high traffic areas.

One connected city, Pisa, Italy, is using M2M communications to overcome parking woes. The city with the help of Deutsche Telekom has introduced a sensor-assisted parking guidance system. The solution has equipped 75 parking spaces with sensors. Data from the sensors are collected using three mobile network gateways, which are then transmitted to municipal IT infrastructure, the indicator boards and the drivers’ Tap & Park app.

The benefits are great for drivers who simply have to open their app, input their destination and follow directions to a vacant spot. For the city, the accurate statistics collected about the usage of its parking spaces has incredible potential. Parking data combined with data collected from other M2M solutions like Pisa’s RFID parking permits can better inform infrastructure planning and improve traffic flow.

Pisa’s parking guidance system is just another in a long line of connectedor smart city solutions that are being introduced. And, if UN predictions prove correct that the world’s cities population will double in the next four decades from 3.6 billion in 2011 to 6.3 billion in 2050, the need for M2M devices will become more essential to a city’s survival.
For providers, however, success can only be achieved if remote service and support platforms that manage and support their M2M mobile devices ensure seamless connectivity. Having these capabilities in place, will grant network providers the ability to meet the growing expectations of consumers for real-time automation.

Sources: http://shoup.bol.ucla.edu/CruisingForParkingAccess.pdf, http://m2mworldnews.com/2014/04/07/87414-opportunities-and-challenges-for-the-connected-city/, http://esa.un.org/unup/pdf/WUP2011_Highlights.pdf

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