At Cleverciti, we see a bright future. That outlook is directly in line with the impact we realize through reducing the search for parking, urban traffic and congestion to help eliminate the effects of climate change. As a company, we are always looking to the future to envision how we can create a positive change. We predict some smart trends for our environment, cities and the smart parking market in the next 12 months but we are excited to be part of a collaborative effort to address them.

Smart Cities Will Rise
In 2019, there was a lot of buzz around the concept of “smart” or connected cities. And it wasn’t all talk. When we attended the Smart City Expo World Congress in November, we saw that there was an incredible amount of activity and interest from cities that want to incorporate intelligent technologies to build smarter environments. But there is a digital transformation that has to happen first. Smart city project ideas are broad, budgeting is complex, and sales cycles are long, but we predict that 2020 will be the year that more smart city projects will be deployed across the globe.

When a city aims to adopt smart trends, it’s often to improve the overall experience for visitors, residents and businesses alike. That’s precisely where smart parking fits in. Drivers that have a great experience finding parking are more likely to travel into the city or different neighborhoods to explore stores or restaurants. The residents that are walking the street can also breathe easier when cars aren’t circling the block looking for an open spot, producing needless emissions.

Parking Will Continue to be an Uphill Battle
We expect parking issues will get worse before smart parking trends get better. Although some areas are already implementing smart parking measures, most cities are experiencing significant population growth, which affects traffic, parking and air quality. Smart parking solutions help to alleviate these problems, but still won’t be deployed to the scale they should in 2020. As populations increase, causing more congestion and fewer available spots on average, the need for smart parking will become more apparent and residents will demand them — but it will take a few years for this convenience to catch on.

The difficulties associated with parking and urban congestion from increasing populations will get better in the future as more areas implement intelligent technology solutions. Additionally, these technologies can easily scale from that point on to further grow and change to fit the expanding needs of a business, city or other parking administration. While it may not be an immediate change, we are convinced there will be a very real, positive impact from smart parking at massive scale in nearly every city in the future.

The Opportunity of Ride-hailing Services
The complexity of parking has propelled the popularity of ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft. The use of these services is growing — a trend that will likely continue into 2020. However, while ride-hailing seems convenient for the user, it does not help the broader issues of traffic and urban congestion, excess emissions or parking availability. A driver still has to drive from their location to pick up the rider then take them to their destination — on average about 40% more distance driven. However, this transition to more ride-hailing presents opportunities for cities to repurpose existing parking assets to create mobility hubs and queuing areas. If ride-hailing services have real-time availability data of a nearby queuing area, they can improve their efficiency and reduce congestion and emissions.

Rich parking information also facilitates the use of public transportation. When smart parking is implemented at train stops, bus stations or parks and rides, users can know ahead of time which lots have space and which modes of transportation they can use. We have seen that when a driver knows in advance that they will be able to park at a station to use the train or bus, they are more likely to do so, consolidating the number of vehicles that traverse city streets.

Entering Mainstream Conversations
While consumers innately understand the parking challenges they face every day, awareness of smart parking solutions has been low in the general population. However, as consumers start to experience these smart trends firsthand in 2020, we expect consumers to start demanding them from their cities, shopping malls, office campuses, and other places they go each day.

No matter how these individual trends will shape next year and the years to come, Cleverciti is proud to be leading the way in helping cities to become smart by addressing parking issues, reducing vehicle congestion and cutting down on unnecessary emissions. We certainly see a bright future ahead. Here’s to a great 2020!