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Quantifying the Impact of Parking Guidance Solutions on Customer Experience

June 15, 2019

Poorvi Kaushik and Jeremy Lewis

In addition to elevating the overall customer experience for visitors, one of the primary benefits of installing a parking guidance system (PGS) is an overall reduction in the time taken to park. Up to now, little has been done in the industry to objectively quantify the effects that a PGS has on driver decision-making and the parking experience itself. General assumptions have been derived from limited manual observation-based studies, customer feedback and onsite observations.


In collaboration with the Brisbane Airport Corporation, Park Assist recently completed a groundbreaking benchmarking study on the quantitative impacts of its M4 PGS on the time between vehicles entering the car park and parking in a vacant bay (referred to in this whitepaper as “Time to Park”).


Analysis for the P1 car park also found that, for drivers parking in disabled bays, a PGS can reduce average Time to Park by nearly
63 percent.


A seamless wayfinding experience.


The overarching goal of the camera-based Park Assist M4 PGS is to remove all stress and uncertainty from the parking process. As such, the M4 smart-sensors and multifaceted wayfinding signage collaborate to guide each parker from car park entry to a vacant space – while improving overall traffic flow throughout a facility. Wayfinding elements at Brisbane Airport include:


 


Arrival signage. Multi-facility signs announce the number of available spaces at each car park or lot. This continually updated information enables parkers to decide on the best facility to park in at any given moment.


Level signage. Once a parker has decided to park in a specific car park, dedicated signs display the number of available spaces on each level.


Aisle signage. Once a parker has committed to searching for a space on a particular level, pointer signage enables a parker to make on-the-spot decisions (left, right or straight) based on the number of available spaces.


Color-coded pilot lights on the smart-sensors. This is where the M4s – which have been providing up-to-the-second occupancy data to the core system all along – kick in to finish the wayfinding process. In addition to green (vacant) and red (occupied), these bright, clearly viewable LED indicators can be programmed to display thousands of colors to denote special-purpose spaces – i.e. blue for disabled, purple for premium, and so forth.


Key findings of the study


Conducted over a 5-month period, the findings of the Brisbane Airport benchmarking study resulted from the acquisition of nearly 1.2 million data points, representing a total of 127,284 unique customer journeys. The scientific analysis of this significantly-sized sample of parker behavior activity, when comparing phases A & B, yielded the following results:


36 percent reduction in Time to Park in P1 car park.


Comparison of pre and post go-live behavior showed a 36 percent decrease in average Time to Park and a 23 percent decrease in the median Time to Park after the Park Assist PGS system was enabled. The drop in average Time to Park occurs gradually while, as seen in the following chart, median Time to Park drops off almost immediately. This quick median drop-off indicates the majority of drivers are sensitive to the guidance provided by the PGS.


33 percent reduction in Time to Park across both car parks.


Comparison of pre and post go-live behavior showed a 33 percent decrease in average Time to Park and a 20 percent decrease in the median Time to Park after the Park Assist PGS system was enabled in both car parks.


50 percent reduction in Time to Park for primary entry levels in P1 servicing short-term parkers.


Upon further analysis, we found short-term parkers enjoy the greatest Time to Park improvements. For levels two and four of the Brisbane P1 car park – where there are a wealth of short-term bays and direct entry points from the roadway – the average Time to Park reduction was 50 percent. The combination of short-term parking (and therefore, higher vehicle turnover) combined with the direct entry points from the roadway culminated in higher vehicle movements on these levels. We infer that this resulted in higher levels of congestion which the PGS helped reduce, translating to an even more substantial reduction in Time to Park on these levels.


Improved and more consistent customer experience.


Parking behavior shows highly reduced variability with a PGS. The major parker benefit is improved consistency and predictability, both key elements of an enhanced customer experience. These factors also enable owners/operators to better forecast parking behavior and car park usage patterns.


Here are two significant observations:


Average Time to Park by hour of day was lower across almost all hours of the day


The maximum differential, average Time to Park savings of over 100 seconds of time, occurred during the morning hours between 9 am and noon


Drivers parking in disabled bays save up to five minutes finding a parking space.


Analysis for the P1 car park also found that, for drivers parking in disabled bays, a PGS can reduce average Time to Park by nearly 63 percent. This translates to a time savings of nearly 5 minutes per event.


This use case illustrates the opportunity to better support unique customer segments by specifically tailoring dynamic parking guidance and navigation to their needs.


An additional half-minute reduction of Time to Park on weekends.


Weekday parkers, from Monday through Friday, benefitted from an average 32 percent decrease in Time to Park. However, parkers arriving on Saturday and Sunday experienced an average 49 percent decrease in Time to Park. This translates to a time savings of nearly half a minute or more, when compared to weekday parkers.


Our educated guess as to why this happens, though unproven, is that drivers arriving at Brisbane Airport on weekends tend to be leisure travelers who are less familiar with the environment and therefore tend to place a higher reliance on the PGS.


 


Summary


This groundbreaking PGS benchmarking study by Park Assist, undertaken in collaboration with the Brisbane Airport Corporation, has quantified a number of key benefits of a PGS. The most significant benefit is a substantial reduction in Time to Park, observed consistently across different times, locations and types of visitors/parkers. We venture that these benefits are due to the ability of the Park Assist M4 PGS to enhance driver decision-making by providing informed real-time recommendations on where to park.


The Park Assist Science Team is continuing work to augment and further the findings of this study through additional exploration and analysis. The insights gained through this data-driven exploration will continue to inform the future of our product design – enabling us to bring more cutting-edge innovations and proven solutions to the marketplace.


Our overarching mission, as always, is to make the parking experience as streamlined, consistent and user-friendly as possible. This in turn helps owners and operators to maximize the efficiency of car park operations in ways that heighten parker satisfaction, build customer loyalty, and boost overall revenue.


Poorvi Kaushik is Lead Data Scientist and Jeremy Lewis is General Manager (APAC) for Park Assist. They can be reached through www.parkassist.com



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