How Have Intelligent Parking Systems Changed Over The Last Few Years?

Since the first cars were made over a century ago, almost everyone has been very happy with how easy it has been to get around. Like many new technologies, they made things easier, making things more difficult because: There are more people in the world every year. People are becoming more likely to own one, three, or even more cars. More and more people are choosing to live in cities or suburbs.

Combining these factors leads to an ever-growing need for parking spaces in cities and towns. In response to this, high-rise parking garages are being built more and more often. As is often the situation, the answer happens with new problems.

High-capacity parking garages make long lines of cars that have to wait to enter, stop, get their entry ticket, and move to a parking space before moving on. Angry drivers and long lines on the streets are the results. Smart parking systems that use ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras speed up the process of cars entering the parking lot because they don’t have to stop at the entry gate.

Automated Parking Systems (APS)

Automation Parking Systems are places where drivers leave their cars at the entrance, and the garage attendants move them to a parking space with different levels of automation. They can be seen as the first smart parking systems. In contrast, intelligent parking systems are where the entrance and exit to and from a garage are automated, and the drivers park their cars.

In the early 20th century, there were only a few cars on the streets, but big cities needed more parking space than there was on the street or in surface parking lots. Garage Rue de Ponthieu opened in Paris in 1905.

It used elevators inside the concrete structure to move cars to different levels. Then, workers moved the cars to the available spaces. When cars got bigger after WWII, the Garage Rue de Ponthieu couldn’t fit them, so they had to be demolished to make room for other things. This is what happened. Other garages built for small pre war cars had the same fate or were used for other things.

The Paternoster APS

It was called the Paternoster system because it used a chain that passed over sprockets above and below the ground surface. Each platform could hold one car. During this process, each platform reached the surface so that it could be loaded or unloaded. The system took up only the surface space of two cars, but it could fit several cars “stacked” vertically along the chain’s path.

People first came up with this system in the 1920s and used it for many years in different parts of the world. People in Japan were interested in the system again during the 1990s and 2000s. During those 20 years, the Japanese built systems to fit about 40,000 cars.

Kent Automatic Garages

In this automatic parking system, an electric “parker” rolled under the rear axle of a car, lifted the rear wheels, and then moved it to available space. Elevators were used when it was necessary to move to a different level. Kent Garage opened in 1928 in New York. In many cases, people could park and get their cars in less than one minute with this arrangement.

APS History Continued

People in the U.S., the U.K., Europe, Asia, and Central America came up with different automatic systems in the last half of the 20th century. Around 74 Pigeon Hole, Bowser, and Roto Park facilities were built in the U.S. in the 1950s. The Auto Stacker opened in London a few years after that, too. Many of these systems had mechanical problems and didn’t last long because customers didn’t like having to wait.

Despite their flaws, a few APSs are still in use. The two largest are Kuwait and Denmark, with 2,300+ and 1,000+ vehicles each. The APIs used less space because there were no ramps, and cars could be parked close together. Even though cities became more crowded, most of these systems didn’t work well when there was a lot of traffic at rush hour or during sporting or entertainment events because they took too long to move cars in a specific order.

Smart Parking Systems With Automatic Entry/Exit Controls

In high-demand times, systems, where customers park and retrieve their cars are more efficient than the APSs we’ve talked about. They can also be more flexible than the APSs we’ve talked about. Their ability to work well is still based on a smooth flow in and out. To do this, different systems have been used, such as:

Card-Based Controls or Sticker-Based Controls

Before ANPR technology came out at the end of the 20th century, many garages gave electronic cards or stickers to people who already had a good relationship with them. They worked well as long as the driver used the card or the sticker was still there. In the end, these cards and stickers turned out to be a big problem. Lost or forgotten cards and smudged or torn stickers slowed down the smooth flow of the meeting. Of course, other arrangements had to be made for people who only use the facility a few times a year and don’t have a contract with it.

ANPR cameras are used in smart parking systems

If you want to automate some or all of the parking process, smart parking systems that use ANPR cameras are the best ways to do it. It doesn’t matter if a car has a contract or has even been seen before. ANPR cameras can see all cars coming, even if they haven’t been seen before. It speeds up the flow of vehicles into the facility because they don’t have to stop completely.

This reduces driver frustration and traffic in the street, which is a big hit with traffic authorities and other drivers. There is a unique license plate on every car. The data can be entered into any software or database once the camera has read and recognized the license plate. There is no contract with this person, so the system only records the times they come and go and creates a temporary file that can be deleted when the driver has paid for the service and left.

If it’s someone you know, their car is recognized, and they get in for free. Also, ANPR camera-based parking systems can be used to help people reserve parking spots ahead of time. It’s not only possible for them to make a reservation from anywhere in the world, but when they arrive, they’re quickly greeted and let into the facility, too.

Smart parking systems that use ANPR cameras have become more common in large garages and even parking lots since the first decade of the 21st century when they were first used. ANPR technology will play an important role in smart parking systems as they keep getting better and better over time. Adaptive Recognition, which is a big player in the ANPR market both in terms of software and hardware development and production, will always have the right solution for any project that wants to make a parking lot smarter.


The development of smart parking systems, like many social changes, has been marked by practical and not-so-practical arrangements. As time goes on, new inventions may come and go. However, ANPR-based parking systems seem to be the best solution for a while.

Adaptive Recognition has been at the top of the plate-recognition field since 1991. They have some of the most powerful and flexible tools available to help with parking and other issues. They have a lot more information on their website, and you can talk to their experts about how this technology can help you solve your unique problem.

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