Tech Trends: Data is driving the future of smart parking solutions

  • comp-logo
  • comp-logo
  • comp-logo
  • comp-logo
  • comp-logo
  • comp-logo

Search and compare prices at thousands of parking locations.


Select a car space, edit your booking time and pay securely.


Follow the easy directions and access instructions.

The future of smart parking solutions

In today’s interconnected world, technology and data are inseparable. From streaming entertainment to navigating our cities, data plays a pivotal role. The parking sector exemplifies this synergy, where data and consumer insights form the bedrock of modern parking solutions, like Share with Oscar’s smart parking solutions.

If more people are managing their parking and making payments on a digital platform, this generates more data about peoples’ habits, which can finally make parking more intelligent. With deeper pools of parking data, we can aggregate and analyse behaviours, allowing both operator and customer to make more informed decisions.

The adoption of mobile-based digital parking solutions accelerates the digitisation of parking. This shift generates a wealth of data on consumer habits, driving smart parking solutions. With richer data pools, operators and customers alike can make more informed decisions.

Knowing that a space is available

Knowing real-time parking availability is crucial to smart parking solutions, especially with the growing demand for public EV charging. While car parks utilise in-and-out flows for availability insights, on-street parking poses challenges. Traditional sensors are costly and ineffective in highly contested areas. Leveraging GPS data from mobile phones enables predictive models for real-time parking availability, optimising urban parking experiences.

I think we can all understand why it would be helpful for motorists to know if a parking space is available, especially with the rise of public EV charging. Parking operators have become good at understanding parking availability, particularly in car parks, where in and out flows give visitors a good idea of how likely they are to find a space.

Availability modelling becomes more difficult when it comes to on-street parking, however, where the current solution is to install sensors into a parking space, which monitor whether it is occupied or not. This can be prohibitively expensive for many local authorities, and it is also rendered useless if parking spots are hotly contested and become occupied within a minute or so of being made vacant.

With rich data available from the GPS from phones, we can instead use data modelling and analysis to predict parking availability for a given area in real time. For example, if a driver parks on-street to go into a shop, we’ll know when their parking session begins, how far away from the shop they have parked, and when they’ve paid using their phone. We can then work out how long it will take them to get back to the car, and, therefore, when that space will be available.

Taking this to a larger scale

If we can do this on a macro scale, we can then say with a high degree of certainty that a driver looking for parking on a particular street has a percentage chance of finding a space depending on the time of day and weather.

Data also gives the parking industry an opportunity to better understand its customers. As it stands, a family could visit the same shopping centre every weekend, without the retailer having any idea what that family is doing. That family could be spending their time shopping in Kmart, sitting in the cinema or eating at a particular restaurant in the food court.

In a world where an online retailer knows exactly what each of its customers likes, and is able to market to them accordingly, this puts ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers at a significant disadvantage. With data, retailers can build up a profile of their customers and tailor their offerings to individuals. Hence providing unique marketing, offers and promotions to them at the moment they park.

Using parking data to benefit the wider society

Integrating parking into a wider data ecosystem also allows local authorities to better manage the flow of traffic around a city based on external factors. For example, if congestion or air quality in a city is particularly high, the authority can use dynamic pricing to switch to a higher pricing band to dissuade people from entering the area by car. It also helps planners understand where demand is greatest for new infrastructure, such as EV charging points, allowing them to deploy funding as efficiently as possible.

In fact, this is an area where we are already seeing local authorities and commercial operators choosing to future proof their offerings. Meriton, Australia’s largest apartment developer, uses Share with Oscar’s business service to rent out unused car spaces. This is a smart parking solutions. This was used to great effect last winter, when many Australian tourist destinations saw dangerously low numbers of visitors during the holiday season.

However, all of these future possibilities require full visibility of the parking sessions taking place, which can only be achieved when a critical mass of motorists are paying for parking using their phone. This is something that is now more likely to happen more quickly due to changing attitudes brought about by Covid-19.

Building smarter cities with smart parking solutions

In the era of smart cities, data-driven mobility solutions transform urban landscapes. Technologies like smart parking sensors and real-time navigation systems facilitate efficient resource allocation and traffic management. This transformation extends beyond the types of vehicles we drive/board to include where and how we park. Central to this evolution is data-driven decision-making.

Technological advances, driven by the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile devices, and cloud computing, present opportunities to manage urban environments more efficiently, fostering more sustainable and livable cities. Several parking-related technologies are contributing to this effort:

Smart Parking Sensors:

These devices combine edge computing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence with innovative hardware to enable real-time monitoring. They are essential for reducing traffic congestion, particularly in urban areas.

Local Signage, Real-Time Navigation Systems, and Mobile Apps:

These tools help drivers find, pay for, and reserve parking spaces while enabling city authorities and parking operators to monitor and analyse parking behaviour.

Smart parking solutions provide comprehensive dashboards for city authorities and parking operators, where data is collected and analysed to offer valuable insights, including occupancy status, parking duration, and parking payment revenues and infractions. Beyond real-time data, historical analysis is also available to optimise resource planning. This is where Share with Oscar’s management system, comes into play in smart city mobility development if utilised effectively.

Strategic benefits of parking data for smart cities

In the broader context of smart cities, aggregating data from parking operations can also play a critical role in urban planning authorities’ and city governments’ strategic decision-making process. This data can be used for:

Optimising parking space use:

Efficient and smart parking solutions can reduce traffic congestion and improve citizen satisfaction by facilitating smoother traffic flow and reducing emissions.

Integrating mobility solutions:

As transportation systems become more integrated, providing information on nearby mobility options will be crucial for drivers.

Planning a better city:

Utilising data collected from parking, urban planners can more effectively allocate parking spaces, creating a functional environment that serves the citizens’ needs.

Our Mission

At Oscar, Our mission is to make our cities more liveable through sharing. We’re changing the way we share our infrastructure and resources when we don’t use them, to create greener, smarter, and more liveable cities.

There is only 1 parking space for every 6 drivers in our urban cities, and in highly urbanised cities, finding parking is just about impossible. Yet there is so much unused space for the most part of the day that’s hidden, locked away and private. Instead of building more unsightly parking lots, let’s help each other by lending what we already have, and making the most efficient use of space.

Need parking?

Start using ​​smart parking solutions by browsing our app today!

Look. Book. Park. Download the app

  • Best Parking App
  • Best Parking App

Look. Book. Park. Download the app

  • Best Parking App
  • Best Parking App