“We had almost immediate good results with our SF30/C from LightWare LiDAR. Even the results from our first proof of concept were impressive, from the first prototype which was small. Provided great scanning distance and was really efficient.” – Antoine Guillon, Chief Operations Officer, Parkki.
Many places around the world suffer either from an extreme shortage of available parking or in more modern areas and developments – the sprawl of large shopping malls and airports with their accompanying enormous car parks. This has the effect of causing traffic congestion, driver frustration and commuting delays as people struggle to find an appropriate place to park. This then has a knock-on effect as to where and when people choose to shop or travel as we all try to find the exact “optimal” moment to approach these areas and brave these vast spaces.
Parkki describe themselves as “business parking accelerators”. Their goal is to transform an ordinary car park into a strategic place for business and for the generation of customer loyalty. And as a team Parkki is passionate about creating “Smart Cities” and Smart Parking opportunities.
In France for example, shopping centres typically have very large car parks – with up to 3000 parking bays. The result is that the ‘would-be customer’ is often overwhelmed and frustrated when arriving in such large parking lots – with no idea how to go about finding a parking bay.
As a result, there is a growing need for easy communication and a parking “guidance system” for drivers to find an available parking space quickly and easily. In addition, shopping malls and airports increasingly need to be designed and developed to meet the ever-changing needs of the consumer to ensure their shopping and travel needs are met, making certain that they return.
So how exactly does one transform a car park in a strategic place for business and customer loyalty? Parkki uses different technologies for different Smart Parking applications. In one example, Parkki have employed the use of LightWare’s SF30/C LiDAR scanning sensors which are mounted on top of car park streetlights to monitor and actively track customer activity in several shopping car parks.
In this use case, one SF30/C scanning sensor can cover 360 degrees and successfully monitor up to 40 parking bays – in all light and weather conditions with minimal power requirements. These sensors are then integrated with a custom mall mobile parking application and their on-the-ground digital signage – making finding available parking spaces within a large car park, easier for the consumer. This in turn increases the likelihood of a return visit to the mall.
The benefits don’t stop there, not only can these LiDAR sensors make finding parking easier, the SF30/C LiDAR can also transform an ordinary car park into a rich source of customer data for the mall management team who can use customer data supplied to draw insights around consumer behavior and usage of public spaces. Insights like – when do people shop or visit the airport most, when is a mall/airport most quiet or which area of the mall is the busiest. This vital information allows the shopping mall to better plan their infrastructure, logistics, manage their tenants and plan for future development.
Currently Parkki have successfully set up over 100 SF30/C LightWare LiDAR sensors on top of streetlights in various car parks in and around Lille, France. This means that more than 4000 parking bays are currently actively being scanned and monitored – allowing customers to find somewhere quickly and easily to park. As an added advantage the customer data recorded via these sensors is shared with the shopping centre management team for them to have better insight into their shoppers activity, needs and behaviors.
As a next step, as soon as lockdown regulations around COVID are lifted, it is Parkki’s plan to continue with more LiDAR sensor rollouts in France (and indeed globally) not just in mall car parks but at airports and other large public spaces too.