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Group 203

Rob from Kerb
June 2023

Future of Parking

KERB is an Australian-founded technology platform whose award-winning parking app is used by thousands of drivers every day. KERB’s B2B car park management software helps airports, commercial buildings, retail malls and entertainment venues increase efficiencies, revenue and profit margins across their parking facilities, by reducing CAPEX, OPEX and customer friction.

City authorities everywhere are struggling to solve the challenge of finding enough places to park vehicles – even though car parks take up, on average, 15% of a city’s footprint. But here’s the irony: Every vehicle driving the streets of any city has freed up a parking space somewhere else. Many of these parking spaces sit empty for large parts of the day or night, yet most of them sit behind barriers, security gates and checkpoints which are not accessible to the general public. Imagine if there was a way to access all of these under-utilised parking spaces beneath office towers, hotels and shopping centres, behind residential properties, in front of sports venues and places of worship, and behind residential properties right across a city? 

Technology, via apps such as KERB, is already solving this problem. But the opportunity for technology to further disrupt a high-friction, low-tech industry whose customers’ experience has barely changed in the past forty years will transform cities right across the world. Here are four trends which will disrupt and enhance the USD350b commercial parking sector before the current decade is up.

Electrification of Vehicles and Fleets

The shift away from vehicles powered by internal combustion engines to electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles is upon us. Every major car manufacturer in the world is in a race to switch to electric and hybrid vehicles. Meanwhile, city municipalities and the private sector are in a parallel race to provide the charging infrastructure that will be needed to power these vehicles. The vast majority of charging infrastructure will be off-street, not kerb-side. Residential  and commercial buildings across the developed and developing worlds are being fitted out with the electricity points and charging stations that will be required to service the tens of millions of electric vehicles which will soon replace vehicles powered by fossil fuels. Parking apps which provide booking, payment and gate-access solutions will have a major role to play in this revolution. Why? Because a vehicle needs to be parked in order for it to charge. Many of the charging points will reside behind security gates and barriers, in commercial and residential buildings.

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The Arrival of Autonomous Vehicles & New Vehicle Types


The switch to electric vehicles is not the only revolution about to transform cities: autonomous vehicles and completely new vehicle types are another. Vehicles that don’t need drivers need something else: clearer roads with fewer human-driven vehicles on them. But how to free up a city’s streets and laneways when they are clogged with vehicles – many of them parked or cruising for parking? The answer to this question is simple in theory, much harder in practice: the kerb-side needs to be free from vehicles parking for hours or days. What if there was somewhere else for all of those vehicles to park, away from the kerb-side, but close enough to a city’s busiest streets to still allow vehicles to drop off and pick up people, parcels and meals? The reality is that the vast majority of parking spaces in cities are located off-street – not on-street. But most of these parking spaces are privately owned by businesses and residents and sit behind security gates and barriers. What if there was a way for drivers to get through those security gates and barriers without the need for a security pass or fob, in order to be able to park and charge their vehicles? Fortunately, technology has provided the solution and it requires zero changes to existing infrastructure. 


Changes in Vehicle Ownership & A Different Way to Park

By 2030, the price of some electric vehicles will to be as low as USD5,000.  (Chinese car manufacturers are already producing EVs for as little as USD10,000.) Driverless eTaxis, eBuses and electrified fleets of Ubers, Grabs and Olas will make the cost of moving from A to B in any type of autonomous, electric vehicle so time-and-money efficient that it will make no economic sense for many of us to worry about owning, parking or charging car. In many countries, more vehicles will be owned by fleets than by individuals. This drop in individual vehicle ownership will be met with a need for fewer car-parking spaces attached to private residences and businesses. Many outdoor car parks will be transformed into green spaces and recreational precincts. But what about all the parking spaces under buildings and in purpose-built parking facilities in cities everywhere? If vehicles become autonomous, surely they won’t need to park? 

The reality is that no vehicle will ever be moving 24/7/365. Today, most vehicles spend over 22 hours per day parked. In the smart cities of tomorrow, there will likely be fewer vehicles per capita. Those vehicles will spend less time stationary and more time moving. But they will still need to park, charge, drop off and pick up. Fleets of share cars will need to be distributed right across a city – including into the suburbs, where most journeys in most vehicles start in the morning and finish in the evening. Fleets of thousands of autonomous cars will likely park outside downtown, where space is abundant – for example, at airports and next to sports stadiums. One or two major parking platforms will emerge as aggregators for locating, booking and paying for parking – and ancillary services – in a wide variety of parking spaces for every type of vehicle.

The Impact of AI on the Parking sector


To say that artificial intelligence is about to fundamentally transform most industries across the world is an understatement: Open AI’s ChatGPT is the fastest-growing application of all time, taking just four months since it’s release at the end of November 2022 to reach 100m users. The jobs of lawyers, researchers, journalists and university professors are about to be disrupted beyond recognition – as are most other white-collar jobs. But what about the Parking sector? Surely AI has no role to play in a concrete, low-tech parking facility? Nothing could be further from the truth. If a driver’s smart-phone or vehicle knows where that driver lives, works, plays or prays, it can start to predict where the person inside the vehicle needs to park. AI can ensure that the driver’s preferred coffee or lunch order is delivered within a few seconds of the driver’s arrival, and can serve the driver location-based special offers based on the driver’s previous purchasing history.  Similarly, the sensors in and around that driver’s vehicle can further enhance the driver’s experience. If the wipers are on, it’s likely raining, so the driver’s vehicle should know how to direct the driver to an under-cover parking lot; if the seatbelt sensor or thermometer sensor or handbrake sensor is activated, artificial intelligence and machine learning will be able to extrapolate what the driver needs next.  And why wouldn’t AI be able to determine how often – and where – a vehicle’s driver travelled, based on the places they parked? Global insurance companies are already thinking about this.

The future of parking in the smart cities of tomorrow will be very different from the parking we know today. It’s hard to see the future through a rear-view mirror, but one thing is for sure: artificial intelligence will not bypass the Parking sector. Get ready for serious waves of disruption (most of them positive).