Being a customer service manager in this industry has given me more insight into technology’s impact on parking operations. While no one can predict the future, we can say without a doubt that the role of parking technology has evolved more in the past 10 years, than the previous 50.

As an example, in the past, customers would drive around until they came across an open parking space, fumble for whatever change they could find, and then rush to get back to the meter before it expired. From a City standpoint, there was a complete lack of data to support revenue. Enforcement meant parking enforcement officials circling an area and looking for expired meters. While this was the industry norm at the time, it was completely inefficient and inconvenient.

Today, we use technology to manage our parking assets smarter. Smart meters can help businesses generate more turnover, enforcement officers enforce more efficiently, and provide motorists with real-time data on parking availability. Armed with a wealth of data generated by today’s parking systems, cities can now quantify parking trends, allowing them see where meters are needed the most. There is greater financial accountability and equipment faults can now be addressed in a timely manner leading to unprecedented uptimes.

And this is just the beginning. I am excited to see what the next five years will bring.