By Susanne Tedrick
Cloud computing has changed how people and organizations consume information technology products and services. Given the cloud’s flexibility and agility, organizations were able to use cloud services to continue mission critical operations and allow employees to work from home. According to Flexera’s 2021 State of The Cloud report, 36% or enterprise respondents said that they expect to $12M or more in cloud services, and 90% of enterprise respondents expected that their cloud usage would exceed their prior plans because of the pandemic.
This sped up cloud use and spending has caused some additional challenges, particularly around having skilled resources. According to a recent study by the information technology research firm Gartner, many IT leaders said that they lack in-house skills to manage 60% of their current operational tasks (particularly in the areas of security, dev ops, networking, and compliance), and over 50% felt that in 2022, they won’t meet their company’s cloud adoption goals because of a lack of in-house skills and experience.
Now more than ever, having cloud computing knowledge and skills is important. If you’ve never heard of cloud computing or are not entirely familiar with the concept, here’s ten things you should know:
1. Cloud computing is not a new concept. At a top level, cloud computing is the delivery of information technology resources over the internet. Rather than purchasing and maintaining computer hardware and software, you “rent” services from someone else.
While the term cloud computing is relatively recent, the underlying concept of cloud computing dates back all the way to the 1960’s. IT was then that computer scientist J.C.R. Licklider came up with an idea for an interconnected system of computers called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) that laid the groundwork for what would eventually become what…
By Dave Rich and John Abraam
Canada’s automobile future is electric. In recent months both General Motors and Ford have announced their intention to begin transitioning to electric cars and trucks, with GM aiming to produce only EVs by 2035 and Ford and Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) setting a goal of 40% of their vehicles being electric by 2030. Other automakers are even more ambitious. For instance, Volvo plans to go all-electric by 2030.
The anticipated evolution of Ford and GM cars and trucks from gas power to electric will have enormous implications. Of course, the ultimate goal is to be more sustainable. Eliminating exhaust from millions of cars and trucks could have enormous implications for the environment and the health of Canadians.
The transition won’t come without challenges. The change-over will have an enormous impact on individuals and businesses alike. For instance, it takes longer to recharge an electric vehicle than a gas one; how will that impact people who must drive distances beyond the battery’s range? How will Canada develop sufficient recharging infrastructure? What will happen to gas stations; will they become “juice bars”? These issues will sort themselves out over time, but the answers won’t come without hurdles.
Parking, in particular, will feel the impact. Parking facilities will be the most important charging location, aside from the driver’s home. After all, where else do people leave their vehicles for long enough periods of time to fully charge an electric car or truck?
And parking owners aren’t ready.
Most owners of parkades and complexes with parking assets don’t have the infrastructure in place to provide widespread EV charging. Even those that do offer charging usually only have a handful of EV charging stations on hand. That may be sufficient today, when a relatively small percentage…
By Chris Scheppmann
When we visualize artificial intelligence (AI), we often think of robots learning how to think, so they can perform human tasks. And of course, those of us who are science fiction fans probably envision apocalyptic acts committed by hordes of out-of-control robots. Thankfully, the reality is much safer and more useful than robots learning how to kick a soccer ball. This is particularly true when it comes to parking.
One of the most important recent breakthroughs in parking guidance technology is Machine Learning. Through Machine Learning, parking guidance has become highly accurate and useful, both for helping manage parking inventory and when it comes to providing parking operations with business intelligence to make better informed decisions. But, to understand the role that Machine Learning is playing in parking guidance, it is first necessary to understanding what Machine Learning is.
What is Machine Learning?
Machine Learning is a type of AI. Equipment paired with Machine Learning is able to modify itself when exposed to more data. It is dynamic and does not require human programmers or designers to manually make changes and the Machine Learning models can continually improve its understanding of an environment where it is being used.
As Arthur Samuel, a pioneer of the field stated in 1959, Machine Learning “gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.” As an example, Machine Learning is like a child who is born without having any knowledge and adjusts (knowledge improves) its understanding of the world in response to experience (receives new data). As that baby continues to be exposed to similar and new experiences, its ability to make connections and decisions improves. Over time, a child can differentiate between a spotted dog and a cow or a brown-haired dog and a…
By Ryan Hickey
For many cities and municipalities, parking is at the center of their decision-making these days, whether it is from a revenue, usage patterns (current and future) or an operations perspective. As we move towards getting back to a new normal in 2021, the issues that were impacting the parking experience prior to COVID-19 are sure to resurface, perhaps with a slightly different appearance.
All too often, there was, and still is, a negative experience related to urban parking, with the majority of community members believing that parking resources are not meeting their needs. This perception is fueled by the length of time it can take citizens to find an available parking stall and is frequently used as the main metric for gauging whether a region has an efficient and sufficient supply of parking. When finding a possible solution, cities and municipalities must consider a large number of variables while planning out parking zones, including budgets, land use, and the overall community experience. Overall, this process becomes extremely overwhelming and can be exacerbated by inaccurate parking data supplied by outdated or inaccurate methods.
Urban planners face a variety of challenges in collecting reliable and accurate parking data to improve overall parking user experiences. Presently, many decision makers are unable to form concrete plans towards improving their parking, due to a lack of real-time data availability, and ever-changing parking behaviours driven by COVID-19. At a time when most individuals are working from home, it could be questioned whether there is a need for increased parking. In some areas of North America, it was noted that parking levels were at an all-time low, as citizens were encouraged to stay home and reduce unnecessary travel. For example, sensor data collected within Stratford, Ontario demonstrated a significant decrease…
By Chris Scheppmann
Parking guidance is one of the most important technologies to emerge in recent years. The initial appeal of the technology is that it dramatically improved the parking experience while, at the same time, helping to maximize parking occupancy and improve management. Drivers benefit by not having to waste valuable time searching for a parking space.
Parking guidance also benefits owners and parking organizations by providing essential data. When parking owners and managers have access to real time data about how their parking facilities are being utilized, whether they are at full or near-full capacity, and when they tend to be busiest, they can make better decisions about how to manage those parking resources. Better and more comprehensive information tends to lead to better management decisions. It easy to see how parking guidance offers a classic win/win scenario: drivers get a better parking experience, while parking owners improve their operations and make more money.
And with the impending dawn of the Smart City age and the eventual introduction of self-driving vehicles, parking guidance will become all the more important. It will be the key technology for the success of smart cities because by guiding drivers directly to available parking, it can significantly minimize travel times and reduce roadway congestion. Some cities in the United States are already connecting the parking guidance networks of private parking facilities to their municipal grids to create city-wide guidance networks, and that will soon be the norm in cities across Canada, as well.
Everyone loves the concept of parking guidance, but in the past, many owners have been scared away by the cost. When the technology was introduced, owners had just two options: install sensors over every parking stall at considerable expense, or use less expensive technology that…
The parking industry has become extraordinarily technology-centric in recent years. Advanced parking guidance technology can be found in many parkades and when added in with PARCS equipment, (that can securely accept a litany of payment types and work with Bluetooth, BLE, and other data exchange technologies) and technologies like license plate recognition (LPR) and automatic vehicle identification (AVI), parkades have become highly sophisticated operations that are taking advantage of a host of technologies.
But parkades, often, do not function in a vacuum, and rather are a part of a larger parking system that includes surface lots and on-street parking availability. So, it would make sense that this availability should be factored into an overall ‘global’ availability and guidance system that accounts for parking beyond just the parkade. Not only does doing so provide a more complete picture of the real-time parking availability status of a given area, it also creates a more complete data set that can be captured and analyzed by advanced software suites that have that capability, creating a more valuable data set that can be used in new and effective ways. Things like traffic management, or event parking and variable pricing, can be driven by this global data approach that enables that parking data to be much more influential to an overall transportation management ecosystem.
This is especially true in university and corporate campus environments. Such operations frequently encompass a variety of parking scenarios, but parkades, due to their controlled environment and the tendency to develop technologies specifically for them, become the focal points for the concentration of technologies that make parking more friendly
However, this functionality does not need to only be limited to these structures. As technology has evolved, the expectation…
By Roamy Valera
The hottest buzz word among parking leaders right now is mobility. In fact, within and outside the industry, mobility is a primary concern for those who are tasked with shaping our communities. Accountability is being placed on those who impact our ability to move about freely, easily and safely in our urban environment. How we move however, is determined by urban planning for the future. And today, as we are on the cusp of the age of the smart city and self-driving vehicles, the future of mobility is taking shape.
Mobility is about providing efficient access to essential services, employment opportunities, and entertainment and recreational opportunities. For some, that means facilitating car travel; for some it means providing transit resources, as well as first and last mile service for transit users; and for some it means providing safe and convenient pedestrian access. The benefits of providing seamless mobility are enormous: more vibrant economic development, more sustainable communities, and a better quality of life for residents and visitors.
Parking is a critical element in the mobility piece and can make or break our ability to move around our environment efficiently. An estimated 30 percent of traffic in urban areas is caused by drivers looking for parking. How we leverage innovative technology to reduce this friction is key to solving this element and will allow those accountable to our journey to better manage the curb.
Curb Management is the Key
How we manage the curb matters. When vehicles are constantly circling blocks looking for parking, they cause congestion on roadways and pose a hazardous situation for fellow drivers and pedestrians alike. Likewise, when drivers double park, they create similar hazards. So, where do we start?
Curb management begins with Transportation Demand Management (TDM). TDM is a general term describing strategies designed to increase overall…
By Nigel Bullers
Car share is transforming how people think about their daily commuting needs and that is seen on the west coast more than any of the other market; Seattle, Portland and here in Canada, Vancouver is at the epicenter of the adoption of car share. Car share has evolved over the past decade, early adopters were people that cashed in their personal cars and headfirst into car share as the only option alongside public transit. Today the users are different, many of them have multiple vehicles at home and they hold multiple car share accounts. Car share has become part of a total transportation solution for drivers. Although these new users are slightly different than the early adopters, the needs remain the same – the desire for easy parking close to destinations and pick up points, and frictionless, quick parking solutions.
Parking at the destination
In downtown urban centers some of the parking facilities will be gated, as is true in Vancouver where Pacific Centre has some 1500 spaces exactly where car share users would like to go. But in the past, car share had challenges with gated lots and lots underground where they lost the signal and would lose cars and thus inventory.
Evo Car Share and EasyPark partnered to bring car share to Pacific Centre. The process entailed enhancements to the repeaters so that vehicles would not go dark when going underground, and by devising a solution for billing for the cars going in and out of the lot. The early program worked in a very basic way, whereby drivers would simply pull a ticket, leave that ticket on the dash and then the next driver would hand that ticket to the booth attendant, who would process the ticket. Evo was billed at…
By Chelsea Webster
What affects 1 in 3 Americans, costs trillions of dollars annually, and is a complete mystery to most people?
Why You Should Care About Cybersecurity
There are close to 400 cyber-attacks every single minute in the US, which affect 1 in 3 Americans every single year. It costs companies an average of $15.4 million annually to manage hacks against them, with total annual damage estimated at $6 trillion by 2021.
The point of these stats is not to make you paranoid, but to highlight how real, common, and far reaching cybersecurity threats are. It’s also to get you to take one more step in your thought process and connect cybersecurity to your vehicle – your connected car – knowing that online threats are targeting people everywhere. It should get you thinking about how many cars there are, how big a target market that represents for hackers, and what you can do to protect yourself and your vehicle.
The Connected Car
So, what exactly IS a connected car? A connected car is any vehicle that has wireless connectivity to the Internet and/or other devices, like a satellite or an auto manufacturer or another vehicle or pedestrian. A connected car collects, sends and receives information, processes it, and actions it or alerts the driver to information that requires human action. The image below from the Future of Privacy Forum is a great visual explanation of some of the components.
What Data Does a Car Collect?
Your vehicle is a nosey piece of machinery. It collects external data on traffic, road conditions, signage, markings, weather, and lots more. It also collects a boat load of internal data on you through cameras and microphones. That data can be anything from eye movement to driving habits. The connected car…
By Jason Broadhurst
Anchored by notable retailers Loblaws, Home Depot and LCBO, College Square is a retail complex with forty-nine brand name stores, spanning 389,244 sq. ft. The shopping destination has been serving a busy area near Algonquin College, in Ottawa, Ontario since 2003.
When property managers Leikin Management Inc. moved forward on an exterior lighting upgrade, they had four very clearly defined objectives.
“Saving energy was the primary concern,” explained Barbara Farber, for Leikin Management. “We also wanted to reduce maintenance costs, improve the aesthetic quality of the complex, and make the area even safer after dark.”
The property management firm teamed up with Concept Illumination, a company known for its exterior and parking lot expertise, to plan and execute the renovation, which was subsequently completed over two phases. First, wall packs along the rear of each block of buildings were replaced with the latest LED products.
With several of the then existing wall pack lights burned out and daylight hours shortening in the middle of the Ottawa winter, Concept Illumination understood the urgency of replacing the lighting as quickly as possible. Despite battling freezing rain and snow, the install of the wall packs was done within a day, minimizing disruption to tenants and ensuring that the complex remained a safe place to visit.
With the LED wall packs being more directional than the predecessors, it was possible to get light on the building in the exact distribution pattern required to illuminate columns and doorways. The LED wall packs used are 0°-90° adjustable, and are fixed in this case at 15° to enable sufficient aesthetic light on columns and walls, while throwing enough light forward and away from the building to be functional for illuminating the immediate surrounding areas.
Combined with the control of the light distribution, the 4000K colour temperature resulted…