How Engineering is Affecting the Parking Industry

Eyad Abu Rish | The Tom Arnold Scholarship in Parking Industry Advancement at York University

Engineering can impact the face of the parking industry and reshape our parking experience, especially with autonomous vehicles becoming a norm in the close future. With this technology rising, we can create more parking spaces and automate the process.

There are various ways engineering is changing the industry, as quoted by York university’s transportation-engineering professor Kevin Gingerich: “Many jurisdictions are beginning to question the need for minimum parking requirements as dense cities become increasingly multimodal and shift away from the traditional automotive emphasis. Autonomous vehicles and transportation network companies (TNC) such as Lyft and Uber will lead to further changes in this demand and require transportation professionals to rethink our current parking policies and solutions”. I will be focusing on autonomous vehicles in this article as the latter is self-explanatory.

Imagine you are arriving late to the mall just before the holidays as you are picking up a gift, 20 mins before closing time. Soon, you will be able to instruct your car to find a parking space and get off shopping. Meanwhile, your car would communicate with the parking structure to find an empty parking spot; in response, your car will park in the spot and notify you of the location code.

Here in Toronto, parking can be very limited. Some studies, such as the ones done at the University of Toronto, have proposed a grid like system for parking where cars would park in a congested-matrix form. This means that cars can be placed in front and beside each other without any spaces. This would be limited to only autonomous vehicles, which would be able to communicate with one another and thus make room for…

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