With a car park barrier system, a temporary hurdle or impediment to access is used to control the flow of vehicles into and out of a parking facility. Barriers are typically fitted at the car park’s entry and exit points, but they can also be deployed to restrict access to certain areas of a parking facility. Lowered barrier arms prevent vehicular access to a given zone but will allow authorized drivers or vehicles to pass through by being raised out of the way. This can be done manually with an operator, of course who will usually push on a cantilever on one side of a fulcrum to raise the barrier up on the other side. However, with an automated car park barrier design, there is no need for an operative because the barrier can be moved when required with a motor.
It is worth noting that most barriers are a car or van’s width in length so that the entire lane of an entry or exit point can be blocked off. However, this means that barriers in indoor or semi-open car parks might not have sufficient room to be raised fully. Therefore, an alternative car park barrier design will be used whereby the arm of the barrier itself will be hinged at the middle, so it does not knock into the ceiling each time it is raised. Such designs allow for the same level of control even when there is a height restriction to take into consideration.
How Does The Automation Work?
In terms of automation, it is not simply that a car park barrier system will be raised and lowered by an automated mechanism because there are other technologies that can be used, too, for a complete parking solution. For example, some automated car park barrier systems will only raise their arm when a driver takes a ticket from a dispensing machine located next to the barrier. With this type of car park barrier design, the driver will typically present their ticket before they exit the parking facility to pay for the length of their stay. Another car park barrier will check their ticket on exit to ensure that the correct sum has recently been paid. Although they are not used exclusively in retail car parks, this sort of system is popular in shopping malls and other short stay parking facilities.
Another automated car park barrier system uses near-field technologies to detect when a known vehicle is entering or exiting a car park. Usually because the driver or vehicle has been issued with a fob, wireless transmitters can automatically detect when access is authorized and when it is not. With such an approach, no ticketing will be required. Typically, corporate, and higher security car parks use this sort of system.
How Can A Car Be Recognized In The System?
There again, a car park barrier system can also be combined with the latest license plate recognition systems in operation today. These identify individual vehicles according to their registration and will allow access in or out of a car park when the system reads a number it recognizes. Ideal for longer stay car parks, such a system can be integrated with an accounts payment package whereby motorists add credit to their account to pay for their parking on a monthly or quarterly basis. The system will notify then by email or text when they need to add credit because the barrier and license plate recognition system will have been monitoring their use of the parking facility automatically.
What Are the Benefits of Car Park Barriers?
There are many benefits of car park barriers. Some of the most prominent ones include:
- Preventing unauthorized access to a car park,
- Stopping people who have not paid for their parking from driving away,
- Improving the flow of traffic into and out of a car park,
- Preventing cars from driving into and out of a parking facility at high speeds,
- Making car parks safe by preventing cars from driving into pedestrians or other cars,
- Restricting access to certain parts of a car park reserved for VIPs or visitors, for example,
- Improving the security of parking facilities from things like car theft.
Why Automate Car Park Barriers?
A car park barrier system that is automated can run on its own without the need for human assistance. Therefore, once installed, this type of car park barrier design has very few onward costs. Compared to a manually operated system, this means no wages will need to be paid. Furthermore, no cover will need to be arranged for periods of sickness or holiday either.
A car park barrier that has been integrated with an automated payment system – whether this relies on tickets and individual transactions or an account-based system – offers additional benefits. For example, the money that is collected for a car park system will not pass through the hands of an individual and can be accounted for electronically. This cuts down on the chance of fraud or theft.
Finally, automatic barriers look and feel professional these days. Most motorists are used to them in situations where the car park they are using has been invested in. To put it another way, by installing them, you will instantly create a much better impression on anyone who uses the facility to park in.
What Type of Businesses Can Benefit from an Automated System?
Any business with parking facilities can enjoy a return on investment when they install a car park barrier system. They make employees and visitors feel safer when parking so helps to improve business productivity. For retailers, hotels, and restaurants, they help to ensure their parking facilities are not misused, improving their customers’ experience. There again, commercial car park operators will be able to do away with antiquated systems that cost a lot to run and that are open to financial abuse.