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Technology Buzzword or Indispensable?

May 11, 2022

Koko Kimball

Technology has been a buzzword for as long as any of us can remember. Whether you were drooling over flying cars in “Back to the Future,” or cringing during “The Terminator,” you were also imagining all the ways computers could take over the world. 


Today, we can’t live without basic innovations. The thought of not having a calculator in my pocket, or heading to a business meeting without GPS and reading directions out loud as I barrel down the freeway induces immediate anxiety. Or even physically going to the grocery store instead of ordering conveniently from an app begs the question, what would life be like without the convenience of technology? And an even bigger question, why aren’t more companies embracing it? 


Much like online shopping has forever changed the brick-and-mortar retail industry, artificial intelligence technology is poised to permanently change the traditional way of doing business across many industries, including parking management and enforcement.


Currently, managing parking can be time-consuming and stressful, parking management officers often experience the difficulties of inaccurate data, enforcing hours, payment policies, expensive overhead costs, and more. These are all symptoms of a broken system that wastes money and compromises efficiency.


While many have embraced “pay by phone” or “app-based” methods for parking management, there are still gaps in the industry that only superior technology can fill. omniQ has spent decades perfecting our patented and innovative technology to solve the struggles many assume are unsolvable. 


For example, one of our clients explained the frustration of customers “cheating” the system by claiming they had been parked for only a few hours, when in reality they had been parked for seven days. The client was losing money, feeling defeated, and wished something existed that could remedy this problem, along with several others. They were shocked when we explained how implementing our solution would remedy the majority of their problems, including digitally logging how long a car had been parked and where. Our client is now more profitable than ever and has even discussed opening up a second parking facility, attributing their success to our technology. 


We also live in a digital age where the “robin hoods” of TikTok, search for public validation and fame, aka “clout chasing,” by videoing themselves using solvents to remove the chalk lines drawn on vehicle tires by parking enforcement. While it may be entertaining for some to watch, it causes a myriad of issues for parking management. With our digital chalking, we can monitor whether a hubcap has moved even a quarter of an inch eliminating the need and risk of physical chalking. This offers peace of mind for enforcement and encourages accountability, that’s a win-win. 


Our focus is not only on aiding parking management in solving the problems that keep them up at night, we also want to improve the overall customer experience. We do this in many ways, one being reducing wait times for ingress and egress. We do this by logging the license plate and other vehicle information as they enter. Later, as they exit, if they have pre-paid, they experience a frictionless and automatic exit. If they have not pre-paid, they will still experience a faster exit with the system already retrieving their total as they pull up to the gate. This also reduces emissions related to idling vehicles, making our product in some ways environment friendly. 


Another technique we use to make parking a more enjoyable experience is through our PERCS (Parking Permits, Enforcement, and Citations) Platform. Users can register their cars at various designated areas and thus receive digital parking permits at the click of a button. Some have said it’s easier than ordering a cheeseburger from a delivery app. The immediate benefit most have reported is no longer waiting in line for a paper or sticker parking permit. This method also makes enforcement easier.


As parking management patrols the lot, they will know in less than 100 milliseconds if a car is authorized to park in that specific area. If a vehicle is found to be in violation, citing is a quick and painless process that is backed by an image of the vehicle and an easy online platform for the violator to pay or contest the citation. 


Embracing new technology is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to be painful. There are many cost-effective options that often have an ROI in as little as one year. omniQ is dedicated to innovating parking with over 15,000 lanes deployed worldwide, 45 airports, and more! Our dream is to continue this trend and improve parking everywhere. 


KoKo Kimball is director of marketing at omniQ and can be reached at parking@omniq.com


 



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