Building Smarter Cities
Downtown is Easier To Park, More Accessible and Increases Business
Parkofon’s mission is to build an equitable and efficient Smart City ecosystem for all residents and visitors. Our goals are to:
- drive local economic development with easier access to busy business districts,
- reduce infrastructure and operational costs to the municipal government,
- improve accessibility for all population groups, and
- reduce congestion and pollution by decreasing the number of cars looking for a space.
Efficiency to Better Serve Downtown Businesses and Customers
Parkofon offers innovative ways to collect real-time space availability data: the technology collects significant amounts of information about people’s movements and is better at predicting parking demand by observing ‘cruising’ behaviors when drivers look for parking spaces. These considerations are important when occupancy differs on the main streets and side streets while most people prefer to park closer to their destination. The balance between available parking spaces in the entire district adjacent to business and retail locations is critical for efficient mobility and parking management.
Better Accessibility for All Drivers
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) started a new era of increased accessibility for disabled persons. While it has hard prescriptions to accommodate mobility challenged population in public transit and off-street parking, the regulations for street and metered parking are vague.
Many cities struggle with handicapped placard abuse that negatively affects the disabled community itself by occupying designated spaces illegally. Some municipalities, such as Arlington, VA, introduced a new “All May Park, All Must Pay” policy, which dramatically reduced all-day fraudulent use of disabled placards. Other cities, such as Baltimore, MD, started programs specially designed to provide better access to parking for disabled population by allocating special spaces and updating surrounding infrastructure to serve the population.
Today, the disabled community is better served in these cities but still faces accessibility problems, such as access to pavement from a parked vehicle and payment at the meters. Since some existing meters are not ADA-compliant, parking at these spaces presents difficulty to mobility challenged people.
Parkofon seeks to address this problem by providing a contactless method of payment for parking. Since the technology is fully automated and does not require any user input to initiate a legal parking session, Parkofon is suitable to address at least the payment portion of the accessibility problem.
Reduced Cost: No Additional Meters or Infrastructure Needed
Robust parking infrastructure is expensive. For example, Washington, D.C., spent thousands of dollars to deploy the novel license plate recognition system involving more than 250 cameras, at a cost of $20,000 each. These cameras scan license plates in real time throughout the District of Columbia to guide efficient traffic management and parking. Privacy concerns are still a struggle (Klein and White, 2011).
Compared to this spending, low-cost, low-maintenance Parkofon devices can provide a much cheaper alternative. Privacy is protected by the company rather than the local government, and users sign terms and conditions at registration acknowledging all aspects of the system’s operation. With enough saturation, Parkofon can offer a much finer data at far less cost, with primary liability and data collection cost remaining with the company.
Smart City Data for Better Municipality Planning
Data analytics and real-time parking management and traffic monitoring are critical for successful implementation of Smart City strategies. Cities like Las Vegas, Pittsburg, Boston, Columbus, and Portland, often supported by the federal government, invest millions of dollars in building Smart City ecosystem for their residents and visitors.
Parkofon offers a cheaper and accurate dashboard and analytical tool to observe real-time traffic and parking occupancy without installing additional infrastructure. In essence, cameras and sensors have to be positioned outside the vehicle to capture major transportation parameters through advanced data processing algorithms. Meanwhile, Parkofon uses vehicles as part of the solution and has a ‘motion sensor’ inside the car at all times. Just like Waze receives traffic information from smartphones, Parkofon gets accurate data about vehicle’s movements and parking without the noise of people taking the smartphone with them everywhere they go (i.e. the Parkofon device is always in the car).
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-855-546-7275 to learn more about our Smart City Program.
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