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Don’t Even THINK About Parking Here: The First Ever IBM Global Parking Survey

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Considering that traffic congestion has been an ongoing theme during my week in Bangalore, it only stands to reason that parking follows.

IBM just released its first ever parking survey, and Bangalore made the top, or near the top, on a couple of key metrics. It was first in terms of most parking tickets issued, and second (only to New Delhi) in terms of cities where drivers argued most over parking spaces.

They have parking spaces in Bangalore??

I jest, but not being able to find a parking space is no laughing matter: Which is why these results are so disturbing these results: The study found that drivers in 20 international cities face a daily struggle in finding a parking space, and in the past year, nearly six out of 10 drivers have abandoned their search for a space at least once, and more than a quarter have gotten into an argument with a fellow motorist over a parking space!

Calgon, take me away!

In addition to the typical traffic congestion caused by daily commutes and gridlock from construction and accidents, reports have estimated that over 30 percent of traffic in a city is caused by drivers searching for a parking spot.

So not only do inefficient parking systems result in congestion and increased carbon emissions, they also waste commuters’ time, lead to lost productivity and economic opportunities and can lead to inefficient city services.

IBM Global Parking Index

IBM compiled the results of the survey into its first-ever Parking Index that ranks the emotional and economic toll of parking in a cross-section of 20 international cities with the highest number being the most onerous.

The Index reveals a wide range in the parking pain experienced from city to city. Chicago had the least pain when it comes to parking in the cities studied, followed by Los Angeles and Toronto.

Here’s how the cities stack up: New Delhi: 140; Bangalore 138; Beijing 124; Moscow 122; Shenzhen 122; Paris 122; Milan 117; Nairobi 111; Madrid: 104; Singapore 97; Mexico City: 97; Stockholm: 90; Johannesburg: 87; London: 86; New York City: 85; Montreal: 85; Buenos Aires: 80; Toronto: 77; Los Angeles: 61; and Chicago: 51.

Click to enlarge image. IBM's first ever global parking survey found that drivers in 20 international cities face a daily struggle in finding a parking space. In the past year, nearly six out of 10 drivers have abandoned their search for a space at least once, and more than a quarter have gotten into an argument with a fellow motorist over a parking space.

The IBM Parking Index is comprised of the following key issues: 1) longest amount of time looking for a parking place; 2) inability to find a parking place; 3) disagreement over parking spots; 4) received a parking ticket for illegal parking and 5) number of parking tickets received.

In a related announcement, IBM is working in partnership with Streetline, a privately held company headquartered in San Francisco with smart-parking deployments in California, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington D.C.

Streetline was recently named one of Fast Company’s “10 Most Innovative Companies in Transportation,” as well as, to help cities of all sizes reduce congestion, better manage parking availability and resources and put information at people’s fingertips to find parking faster.

Streetline was selected from more than 600 SmartCamp entries worldwide based on its outstanding technology, innovative business plan, and alignment with IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy.

Combining information management and advanced analytics from IBM with data gathered from parking sensors and applications from Streetline will allow cities to make smarter and more timely decisions related to parking and their transportation systems.

Officials will be able to use this smarter parking solution to better understand parking patterns so they can improve citizen services, optimize revenue and more effectively allocate city resources.

In the future, insight from the historical and real-time data being gathered can help cities become more proactive in anticipating how parking and their transportation network interacts with other city services and plan accordingly from how it might affect economic development and merchant services to how to appropriately schedule mass transit to how best to plan around infrastructure projects or special events.

Who Moved My Parking Space? Parking Reinvented

As the majority of the world’s population moves to metropolitan areas, key city systems, including city streets and transportation systems, are being strained to the breaking point.

Additionally, vehicle emissions resulting from drivers looking for parking are so closely linked that a year-long study found that drivers in a 15 block district in Los Angeles drove in excess of 950,000 miles, produced 730 tons of carbon dioxide and used 47,000 gallons of gas searching for parking.

The Smarter Parking Starter Kit is a pre-integrated solution that includes instrumentation, connectivity and intelligence. This solution is designed to help cities “get out of park” and improve parking services, optimize operations and help reduce congestion. By leveraging advanced technologies from IBM and Streetline cities will be able to:

  • Provide real-time information to allow citizens and visitors to find parking more easily
  • Gather, analyze and act on information about parking resources and services to optimize revenue
  • Analyze real-time information to better model and anticipate problems to reduce congestion, more appropriately price parking based on demand and provide enhanced services to citizens
  • Integrate real-time information from on-street and off-street parking to enable collaborative decision making for rapid response to events, changes in parking availability and demand.

Streetline’s patented smart parking platform detects the presence of a car through a network of ultra-low power wireless sensors located in individual parking spaces.

This information is then made available in real time both to the city, as well as to consumers via Parker, a free smartphone app via the iTunes Store or Android marketplace.

Using this real-time parking data combined with advanced parking analytics built on IBM Cognos, cities can then tap into this information to understand important factors including hourly occupancy, occupancy by block, parking duration, and trends by area.

Streetline was named the winner of the IBM SmartCamp World Finals and IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year in November 2010.

About IBM and Smarter Transportation

IBM works with cities, governments and others around the world to make their transportation systems smarter. Smarter transportation systems can help traffic and public transit systems flow more smoothly, anticipate and improve congestion in advance, reduce emissions and increase the capacity of infrastructure.

To join in the conversation on Smarter Transportation, join us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Visit here for more on IBM and Smarter Transportation.

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