Parking technology – the alternative option?

We often comment on Wayfinding Forum about the development of technology in our industry and how it is apparently streamlining the way we live. The previous article is a case in point. Subscribers may also recall articles we have written on fully automated parking garages, folding cars, underground bike parking and car park guidance systems as further examples of advances in parking and traffic technology in recent times.

But are we overcomplicating things? Does ‘innovation’ need to mean technological growth, or can it just mean a more efficient way of doing things?

Everyone has a story of technology failing them…. or in the case of red light/speeding cameras, incriminating them, sometimes wrongfully. Surveillance systems are effective, but in the right environment a good security guard could probably be just as effective. So why have we shifted our reliance to microchips and sensors in our car parks?

Our Colombian attaché came across this simple method of directing traffic to available spaces in a supermarket parking lot in Bogota (pictured). A traffic marshal is stationed in a crow’s nest above the parking lot, holding a sign and armed with a whistle and radio. As customers enter the car park he would blow his whistle to get the attention of the driver and literally point to a vacant space that would otherwise be out of sight. If there was a spot further away, a simple message on the radio to his counterpart in another section would solve that and the car would be pointed in the right direction for further guidance. One can hazard a guess that labour rates in Colombia may be such as to make this type of wayfinding economically viable…..

Be that as it may, it got me thinking. Where else in the car parking world can a simple human solution potentially replace an automated alternative? We’d love to hear your experiences or thoughts in the comment section below.

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