Surveillance solutions for efficient parking management

Andrea Sorri

First impressions matter. For many businesses, schools, shopping centres, airports, and hospitals, this means that parking will play an important role in shaping the overall visitor experience. However, parking areas represent not only a secure space for visitors’ vehicles, but also an opportunity for revenue, and a key component of the flow of traffic around a city.

The management of parking areas involves a number of factors, including ensuring the safety and security of visitors, contributing to customer satisfaction, and allowing parking lots to operate as efficiently as possible.

Technology plays a key role in supporting this management. Network video cameras can be used to monitor the activity and capacity in parking areas effectively, allowing businesses and city officials to support the flow of visitors and residents.

Safety and security of visitors comes first

When visitors leave their vehicle – and its contents – in a parking area, they want to be sure that certain measures are in place to deter or prevent criminal activity. Unfortunately, parking areas can attract criminals, as they tend to be largely unmanned, offer many places to hide and are often poorly lit. Video surveillance in parking management helps prevent, detect, and deter unwanted activities, thereby improving visitor confidence.

Video surveillance cameras can be combined with audio sensors and edge-based analytics for sound detection, alerting responders to react quickly to incidents in real time. For example, the sound of breaking glass can be detected even if the camera view is obscured, and security staff can be alerted. Automatic audio messages can be used to deter offenders. In the event of an incident, the presence of an integrated network solution provides easy access to accurate and rich visual evidence for investigations.

For the additional safety of visitors using rooftop parking, a combination of intelligent video and audio technology can be used to alert security staff and warn visitors when they are too close to the edge, and so prevent accidental falls.

Solutions to improve the visitor experience

For many visitors, the first interaction they have at a location occurs in the parking area.  Unfortunately, it is often the site of much frustration, especially at peak times. To encourage more satisfactory experiences, surveillance technology can be used to provide critical information that helps reduce waiting times and congestion.

This type of support was exactly what Carrefour – one of the world’s largest retailers, serving millions of customers every day – needed. Due to the high volume of visitors, it was critical for the stores to be able to direct customers to free parking spaces quickly and precisely. 

Video surveillance cameras are used to monitor parking areas and the levels of congestion that build up when drivers are waiting for vacant spaces. With advanced artificial intelligence algorithms, the video surveillance cameras feed into a single interface, transmitting video streams for analysis to identify available spaces in real time.

A direct result of the installation was an improvement in customer satisfaction, as visitors no longer had to wait for prolonged periods of time before finding a free parking space.

Improving operational efficiency through surveillance

Managing the arrival, dwell time and departure of visitors for either one business or across a shared parking area can be complicated.

Visitors and employees can arrive and stay for varying lengths of time, making it difficult to predict occupancy levels. While Carrefour implemented video surveillance to address this challenge, a combination of access control and license plate recognition technology is another way to measure and predict occupancy.

HNK is a flexible office concept that faced the challenge of managing vehicles of multiple tenants. Employees and visitors across different companies all use the same communal parking lot. To ensure that parking spaces are available for all tenants and their visitors, there needs to be a good overview of parking occupancy.

The access control solution of using video surveillance cameras with integrated license plate recognition analytics means that parking management systems can provide automated parking, accurate payment, and a thorough view of parking occupancy. With access control, businesses using the HNK parking area can ensure availability for their staff and visitors. The automation aspect of this technology can simplify the payment process, as well as minimising wait times and congestion.

For managing remote visitor entry, high quality images with video analytics can recognize known vehicles and automate entry and exit. This is especially important at times where there is a high flow of vehicles entering or exiting, as quick identification can reduce the build-up of traffic.

Smart automated solutions for access control and occupancy in parking areas can be used to better understand the flow of traffic at different times of the day, including out-of-hours. When used in shared parking areas, businesses gain valuable insight and control over their parking blocks.

Parking management is essential

The humble parking area is as important as any part of the premises and it’s crucial that businesses use solutions to help optimize processes. Whether it’s simply monitoring for unwanted behaviour or actively assisting visitors to find an appropriate spot during their journey, surveillance technology plays a key role in the success of parking management by providing data and high-quality images that benefit both staff and visitors. 

To find out more about Axis’ solutions for video surveillance

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