The automotive industry is experiencing a technological wave that is reinventing the market. The digital revolution has led to motor vehicle technology trends, including electric, connected and autonomous vehicles. With vehicle hardware and software changing, car parking operators have to make adjustments to accommodate future cars. For instance, cars have various energy sources, and s parking facility should accommodate them by introducing charging ports in the parking space. Future car parks must integrate technology to mitigate the challenges and provide seamless services. As we anticipate what the automobile industry will serve up in the future, it is vital to reimagine car parking designs to accommodate the revolutionary technological improvements.
1. Introduction of Charging Ports or Robots for Electric Cars
Electric vehicles have batteries with storage spaces that may require charging in parking facilities. Battery degradation and extreme cold weather can affect the batteries and limit their energy storage capacity. Therefore, future parking lots should have charging ports to serve electric cars. However, you should not do a complete overhaul to accommodate one type of vehicle. If you do not have adequate space for expansion, it would be prudent to introduce charging zones or invest in mobile charging robots.
The invention of mobile charging robots in 2019 was a significant step in the parking industry. The robots are versatile and maximise the available space by seeking out electric vehicles and charging them to capacity. The robots save car park operators the investment required to design new spaces for charging ports. Besides, the charging robots have an energy storage device and quick charging technologies to allow them to charge electric cars within a short time.
However, to accommodate the mobile charging robots, car parks will require extra storage space. Your car park should also introduce RFID technology and support edge computing to ease the robots’ mobility to charge the electric vehicles autonomously.
2. Stacking and Relocation Options for Self-Driving Vehicles
Cruise control was the first step towards developing autonomous cars, where the driver can set the cruising speed and take their feet off the pedal. Driver assistance systems introduced in recent years also allowed drivers to remove their hands from the steering wheel. Engineers are currently developing autonomous cars fitted with more sensors, cameras and lasers to make navigation decisions. With self-driving vehicles already entering the market, how are car parks adopting the new trend?
Autonomous vehicles will drop off passengers before entering the car parks and navigate the parking space when they have to pick up other passengers. Therefore, a car parking management system that stacks cars behind each other will not accommodate autonomous vehicles. Car parks of the future can resolve this issue by incorporating spaces that allow other cars to move to clear the way for blocked cars. Since autonomous vehicles will occupy a smaller space due to close stacking, parking operators can assign them dedicated spots. If the car park hosts both driven and driverless vehicles, simulation can help you plan the layout to ensure they do not mix.
3. Accommodate Mobility Vehicles
In the future, people will be using various automobiles, including mobility scooters, electric vehicles and connected cars. Therefore, car parks of the future must adapt to the changing mobility requirements and become hubs that reduce traffic, guarantee security and provide accessibility. While most current parking facilities have dedicated spaces for bicycles, they cannot accommodate the emerging mobility devices. For instance, scooters need to be appropriately secured to keep them safe. Parking facilities must also introduce tracking technologies to keep the vehicles in the car park secure.
Private car ownership will be on the rise in the future. Unfortunately, the space dedicated to car parks is reducing. Therefore, architects have to come up with creative designs to maximise the parking space and increase versatility. Multi-storey parking facilities are the future of car parks since they can accommodate a large number of vehicles. Besides, the operator can dedicate each floor to specific types of automobiles and provide the required facilities. For instance, a floor for electric cars can have mobile charging robots and charging ports, while autonomous vehicles can have the floor with improved accessibility to exits.
4. Introduction of Buffer Zones
Ridesharing is gaining traction today, but it causes congestion in the pickup spots, especially in public places. Future car parks can solve the problem by integrating ride-sharing into the design. Buffer zones help ease congestion because they provide ideal pick up spots for drivers and customers waiting for their rides. Car park operators can integrate the buffer zones within the parking facility and introduce numerous access points to ease traffic for vehicles exiting or entering the parking lot.
5. Development of Simulation and Robotics Technology in Car Parks
Future car parks would be incomplete without technology to boost automation and mitigate the challenges experienced today. Apart from the introduction of lifts for multi-storey car parks, parking operators will see a rise in edge computing. This technology will facilitate tracking a vehicle’s movement throughout the facility using sensors. The operator can incorporate this technology with licence plate recognition software to direct drivers to parking spots.
Apart from mobile charging robots, parking facilities will see the introduction of automated robots. The robots can phase out lifts in multi-storey car parks and minimise time spent searching for space. Robots can park vehicles and direct them to exit points quickly. Simulation technology will also come in handy in decision making and analysing the flow of cars in the facility. With these analytics, architects can come up with practical solutions to improve a parking facility’s efficiency.
Car parks of the future will have a high demand for parking space, but futuristic garages can maximise the existing floor space to meet the demand. Innovation and reliance on technology can improve efficiency and simplify the parking process for customers. However, parking operators need to adopt upcoming technologies to remain competitive.