A look at your options for speed and revenue
As a carpark owner or manager, it’s crucial that your carpark design allows efficient and fast entry and exit for drivers. This is important not only for encouraging repeat business from your customers, but also for meeting the local council’s DA approval requirements for cars queuing out onto the street.
This news post introduces the different options available for carpark entry systems and considers which solution offers the best combination of efficiency and revenue production.
What factors affect carpark entry speed?
Speed of carpark entry is determined by a few crucial factors:
Boom gate speed
The physical speed of the carpark boom gate will have an obvious effect on how quickly drivers can enter and exit. Speeds range from just 0.8 seconds up to 3-5 seconds – which when multiplied by the number of vehicles per hour at peak times, can add up to a substantial time difference.
Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR)
Also known as License Plate Recognition (LPR), Automated Number Plate Recognition for parking reduces the time required for drivers to exit a carpark. Instead of coming to a complete stop, drivers can slow as they approach the boom gate, which automatically raises.
Quality of the cameras installed
LPR cameras need to operate reliably and with speed in order to scan number plates with precision and allow traffic to flow. The industry standard recommends a 90%-95% success rate for recognising plates.
At PARCsafe we only use LPR cameras which guarantee a 95% successful read rate. It’s important to note that that the recent release of emojis used on some state number plates requires the very latest camera technology.
The method of physical ticket production can have a marked effect on speed. For example, producing a magnetic strip ticket takes much longer than a thermal printed 2D barcode ticket.
Carpark entry system options
The two most commonly suggested carpark entry solutions are:
1) Full ANPR with barrierless entry
A fully Automated Number Plate Recognition system without barriers offers a very quick entry to your carpark. Yet it also generally results in a drop in reliable income, since cameras currently don’t have the capacity to read 100% of number plates quick enough. This results in a dramatic increase in false readings with an attendant fall in revenue.
With a barrierless entry system you will also have a significant increase in queuing on exit, due to the increased number of unread number plates – meaning clients will arrive at the exit with no record of their entry. This results in higher admin costs and the need to deal with clients who are frustrated at not being able to continue their journey.
2) Boom gated entry and exit
Opting for a boom gate system in your carpark will result in more queuing on entry for motorists. There can be significantly less waiting on exit however when you install a “Pay on Foot” station or pay on exit application.
ANPR works well with a boom gate, which slows cars down to get a ticket while the camera focuses on licence plate. While this combination is the most accurate and reliable, note that no manufacturer guarantees more than 95% accuracy for LPR. A ticketed system (while slower) will capture that last 5% of vehicles and generally assure you of more revenue from parkers.
Which carpark entry system offers the best Vehicle Numbers Per Hour (VNPH)?
The maximum entry Vehicle Numbers Per Hour (VNPH) will determine the number of entry & exit lanes needed for your carpark’s design, to minimise queuing and meet your local Council’s requirements.
A poor quality carpark design (with a slow boom gate, no cameras, and a magnetic strip ticketing system) may allow only Vehicle Numbers Per Hour of just 300.
On the other hand, incorporating the latest system with barrierless entry and LPR cameras may achieve VNPH of up to 600.
Of course, designing a carpark exit isn’t just about the fastest possible system that minimises queuing. You also need a solution that will maximise your return on investment.
So is there a compromise solution between these two extremes, that balances efficient carpark entry and exit with your need to gain revenue from parking?
A solution offering the best compromise between speed and revenue
PARCsafe can design and install a modern carpark entry system that combines a quick operating boom gate, LPR technology with quality cameras, and a 2D barcode ticketing system.
This combination is not far behind a completely barrierless system, and may achieve Vehicle Numbers Per Hour in excess of 500, balancing the competing needs of speed and revenue.
A conversation with a PARCsafe parking consultant is the first step in determining the maximum rate of return for your carpark, while also adding a crucial revenue stream for your business.
Find out more about the latest carpark entry systems for your business
To find out more about the latest carpark entry systems, contact PARCsafe to arrange a new online or face-to-face consultation on 1300 987 645 or get in touch online.