Finding a parking lot in busy metropolitan cities turns out to be a daily challenge. Several years ago, PR Newswire published a nosy study emphasizing that issue; an average American spends around 17 hours, or $345 in wasted fuel, a year to find a spot to park a car. More, prices for parking spaces are likely to be unreasonably high, resulting in $20bn in overpayments per year. Isn’t that staggering?
The scarcity of parking places and overpriced parking may lead to more road traffic accidents, not to mention traffic jams. Consequently, governments around the world look for new ways to solve that problem, understanding that creating more parking lots isn’t a panacea.
Today, we will bring to your attention possible blockchain cases for car parking. For the article, we picked the most convincing ones.
Blockchain already demonstrated its inefficiency in serving as a distributed storage that guarantees absolute transparency to the network members. Indeed, there are no limits where it can be applied, and car parking could be that case as well.
A blockchain-powered car parking platform could store the data on parking facilities in specific areas. Through the connection with IoT sensors, it could notify users about available spots in real-time.
The mix of blockchain and IoT could potentially bring even more value; for example, the platform could inform users about the shortest, optimal route to the parking spot, like a GPS navigator, and update them on the traffic situation. If the path to the parking lot lies through traffic jams, the system could suggest another lot that could be reached faster. Blockchain would ensure the credibility of the provided data.
Instant and Secure Payments
Blockchain started with payments and digital wallets, so you may already get the idea. DLT-powered car parking solutions could accept digital currencies as the means for reserving a parking lot, and smart contracts could back the whole process. Those could verify a driver’s identity, for instance, by checking their license number and then confirm payment processing in the case of a match.
Monetization of Parking Lots
Besides drivers, parking providers themselves could also benefit from blockchain-based automotive solutions. Imagine a specialized blockchain platform where they could register available lots, and the system would reward them for that with fiat or digital currency. Alternatively, blockchain could serve as a distributed marketplace rather than a mere information source, bringing together parking providers and car drivers.
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Transparent Pricing of Reservations
Soon, blockchain could alleviate the pain of seemingly unfair parking prices, again, with the help of IoT. For each driver, the system could autonomously pick the nearest parking spot available and calculate the price for its reservation in real-time. The pricing could depend on factors like the location of the parking lot (up to the floor level of the lot and the position of the parking spot: near the exit of the lot, in the center of it, and so on) and its availability.
Digital Renting of Parking Spots
Garage owners could also derive a particular use from blockchain. Namely, here, the technology could back a distributed marketplace connecting garage and vehicle owners. The latter could use the marketplace to rent a garage on a regular basis (say, weekly or monthly), performing transactions exclusively on-chain.
Through the IoT-powered connection with IP cameras and sensors, car owners could get prompt updates on available garages or parking lots for rent, with continuous monitoring of their availability in real-time.
A Fragment from an Infographic “Smart Cities, Car Rentals, and Blockchain”
Data-driven Parking Fines
Blockchain could provide significant help for governments seeking to regulate parking on streets and minimize complications for traffic in that way. Drivers who park their vehicles in a prohibited zone could get fined with the rate based on the parking location and the current traffic. Blockchain would store all the information regarding the duration of parking and supplementary conditions to calculate fines accurately and just.
Transparent Parking Servicing
Additionally, blockchain could serve as a platform for reviews, where vehicle owners could share feedback about services offered at parking facilities. For other owners, that feature would grant a sure way to find a quality parking service; on the other hand, such platform would incentivize parking facilities to provide the unmatched level of service to their clients.
A Positive Outcome
With all these extensive capabilities of blockchain, we could get fewer traffic jams, thus, more rationalized traffic, and, most importantly, a cleaner environment with fewer carbon emissions. A promising tradeoff for changing the process of car parking, yet the very concept of change is profound and takes time to implement.