Smart Parking Eases Congestion


Nobody likes searching for a parking space. But an M2M-enabled smart parking system aims to make the process a little easier. With connected technology, both parking administrators and drivers benefit from a more seamless experience.

Parking is important for a city. Available parking impacts businesses in the area and can have effects on traffic congestion as people look for spaces. Parking management is challenging as more people move into urban areas, but it’s also vital to maintain economic growth.

Merge is a technology from Xerox,, designed for municipal parking management. The system oversees both metered and off-street parking, using a combination of hardware and software to monitor spaces and analyze data. Parking managers have access to realtime information on coin collection, meter maintenance, enforcement, and occupancy.

Parking data is available visually via a Web-based mapping interface that shows users current information on payment, enforcement, and meters. Managers can see at-a-glance what is the current status of parking in the city.

A variety of field technologies can be used with Merge, and Xerox says it is built on an open architecture platform. For instance, cities could use parking space sensors to monitor spots. Additionally, parking information could be made available in realtime to the Internet, smartphones, or dynamic message signs. 

Xerox says Los Angeles is using the Merge system for its LA Express Park program. In this case, an algorithm-driven pricing model by Xerox calculates parking prices based on current supply and demand. By using parking data to set prices, the city can turn parking spaces over more quickly and make sure spaces are available for drivers. 

Xerox’s dynamic pricing engine can help cities set parking prices by analyzing historical data to recommend the best rates. The technology also looks at current conditions to predict parking demand, allowing cities to adjust rates as needed.

As more cities tackle congestion and traffic flow issues, parking will remain an important consideration. M2M technology takes some of the headache out of locating a space.

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