A Look into the Parking Systems in the Philippines
There are two things the Philippines is struggling with right now – traffic and parking. The first is something we’ve long since had trouble with and are yet to solve, but the second is something, you can say, new. We are in immediate need of a better parking system in the Philippines. And this is on top of all other things we have to fix and include in our establishments’ security system.
If we’re being honest, we saw this problem coming from a couple hundred miles away. Every year, more and more people are purchasing automobiles and it was about time that it affected our parking system in the Philippines. It has come to the point that parking or looking for a parking spot rather is just as agonizing and rage-inducing as traversing our congested roads.
We often see this in malls or restaurants: people sitting in their cars with their hazards on patiently waiting for someone to leave. You can also see cars constantly circling the parking lot scouting the place for an available slot. These days, we don’t just have to wait in line for food, we also have to suffer through long and seemingly never-ending parking lines.
All this waiting and long lines in addition to the painful commute, frankly, ruins our trips. And though we try our best to avoid them by leaving before the sun even rises, sometimes there’s just no getting around it. Whether we leave early or late in the day, we’re still met with the same problem. It’s hard to admit, but that’s the reality that we’re facing today.
Although we can offer no solution to this, we can offer an overview of the parking system in the Philippines. We’ll be differentiating the two different parking systems and listing the various parking facilities and parking management systems we have here. Of course, we’ll also discuss the issues that stem from our parking system and the importance of solving this problem. There’s a lot to tackle so let’s shift gears and go full throttle!
Conventional vs. Automated Car Parking Systems
We’ll start this off with a brief but concise comparison of the two main types of parking system in the Philippines – conventional and automated.
Conventional Car Parking System
Most parking systems we have in the Philippines are of the conventional. They’ve been around since the invention of cars and the one we’re most familiar with. They are often in the form of large parking lots or multi-level parking garages like the ones we use in malls and high-rise buildings are all conventional car parking systems.
Conventional car parking systems can be constructed in many different ways Some are built just to provide parking spaces. Others are aimed to beautify the environment and those usually cost a lot more. There are also conventional car parks that offer protection from the rain and sun’s rays.
There are many benefits to this type of parking system. One is that there’s little need for a power supply since the only energy requirement is the lighting. And since they can function without energy, they won’t be hampered by power failures. They’re also operational around the clock and are extremely reliable.
There are also downsides, of course, and one, in particular, is something all drivers face on a day-to-day basis – the search for a free car park or a parking slot. From a construction standpoint, conventional car parks are also not very desirable because they require a lot of space. And that is one resource that we are slowly but surely running out of.
Conventional parking systems have become deeply integrated in our society, so they won’t be replaced so easily. While it is a possibility, we shouldn’t expect it to happen in the immediate future.
Automated Car Parking Systems
As opposed to the manual human-operated conventional car parks, an automated parking system (APS) is a mechanical system that moves vehicles from the car park entry straight to an available parking space. It makes use of robotic platforms or arms and lift systems to stack cars on top of each other. You can think of it as an automated storage and retrieval system that’s made specifically for vehicles.
This type of car parking system came about because of two things: the scarcity of available land to make conventional car parks and the increasing need for parking spaces. The first to ever use this system was France way back in 1905. And though it’s not widely used in the Philippines, you can see them in few select places.
Automated car parking systems offer lots of benefits which is why they are considered to be the future of parking. The biggest advantage they have is the fact that they are uniquely space efficient. They vertically stack cars using the least amount of space needed in order to accommodate as many cars as possible. Additionally, thanks to the absence of passengers, the parking spaces don’t have to be as wide and there is no need for pedestrian footpaths, staircases, walkways, and ramps.
APS also solves the biggest problem we have with conventional parking spaces which it the difficulty of looking for an available parking space. With an APS, parking is as easy as entering a garage and stepping out of your car. The rest of the work is done mechanically and you can guarantee that your car will be stored somewhere safe.
But of course, there are also disadvantages to this system. An APS can’t function without power. Without sufficient supply of energy, cars stored in higher lots end up being suspended. There’s no way to manually bring them down and drivers will have to wait for the power supply to come back on. Now, you can solve this by installing generators but what if those fail as well.
Although you can’t deny that they’re efficient, you also have to acknowledge that they’re still unreliable. Maybe if the technology picks up, developers can find a way to completely solve this issue. When that time comes, we can then expect for automated parking systems to pop up at every street corner.
Parking Facilities and Parking Management Systems
Aside from the two different types of parking systems, car parks can be grouped depending on facility and management system.
Different Types Parking Facilities:
Parking lots – As the name suggests, parking lots are lots that are used to park cars. You can normally see these around malls or residential areas and they take up a huge amount of space. The parking spaces in these lots are often marked on the ground with yellow or white lines. Sometimes there are no marks and you just have to follow the parking bumpers that are lined up. These parking lots can also be used for events like music festivals.
Parking garages – These are structures or building that were built specifically to provide parking spaces and there are many types existence
- Single level parking garage – No need for explanation here. It’s a parking garage that only has one floor.
- Multi-storey parking garage – Multi-storey parking garages are made up of multiple floors. These floors can be accessed using ramps or lifts that are usually placed at both ends of the garage.
- Underground parking garage – An underground parking garage is located below the surface and it can have more than one number of floors. You usually find them in areas where there is no space to build parking facilities but there is a huge need for one.
- Automated parking garage – If the first three belong in the conventional parking system category, then this one belongs in the APS category. It works like any APS car park would if you simply need to park your car on a platform and mechanical systems will take care of it for you.
Carports – Carports are private property and they come with houses. They’re covered and offer protection from different weather conditions. Usually, they store one to two cars but bigger houses have carports that can accommodate more cars.
On-street parking spaces – These are designated parking spots located on the side of the road. A parking space on the side of the street is often lined out with paint and metered. You don’t often see this in the Philippines as our roads are narrow and crowded, but you will see people illegally parking on the side of the street.
Different Types of Parking Management Systems:
Automatic Pay Stations and Barriers – This is a widely used parking management system that we encounter in mall parking facilities and most parking garage. It’s simple and efficient.
Drivers only need to get a ticket to pass through the barrier. Prior to departure, they just present the ticket, which has registered the length of their stay, to an attendant and pay. When they finally need to pass through the barrier again, all they have to do is return the ticket to the machine and wait for it to confirm that payment has been made.
Auto Pay Parking System – Auto pay parking systems are increasing in popularity because they’re so easy to use. They’re also cheap and require no manual labor. All in all, they work well for both customers and car park owners.
An auto pay parking system simply records all vehicles that enter and leave the parking area. It does this by tracking the vehicle using its license plate. The process is smooth and quick which is why more prefer this to other alternatives.
Active RFID Parking System – Radio Frequency Identification or RFID can also be used in parking systems, though it is more often used in toll gates – at least in the Philippines. It hasn’t gained much popularity yet since it’s a fairly new form of technology, but it’s numbers have definitely increased.
Cards and scanners are used for this parking management system. And because RFID has a long-range detection mechanism, it can be useful for measuring the number of cars parked in a given facility.
Robotic Parking System – Robotic parking management systems are the management system of the future. This is under the APS umbrella where robots and lifts are being used. The technology that backs this system is still being developed, so there’s not much of them available yet.
Emerging Issues in Parking Systems:
- Safety – The threat and vulnerability assessment in response to car bombings is an emerging issue with safety. Car park developers and owners must factor in the risk, cost, and convenience in order to determine solutions. In the future, technology may play a role in solving this by screening vehicles for explosives and other harmful equipment upon entry.
- Pedestrian Access – Naturally, this isn’t a problem for automated parking systems, but pedestrian access in conventional parking systems has been a recent concern. Actual pedestrian movement is rarely taken into consideration when designing facilities. There are no separate paths for pedestrians and this has become an issue especially because of our aging society.
- Technological Changes – Technological advances are slowly changing the way we enter, use, and leave parking facilities. Advanced management systems and movement access systems allow for smoother and easier flow of movement of vehicles and pedestrians. However, the reliability of automated parking systems and mechanical systems is still being questioned.
- New Forms of Vehicles – Design, movement, and fuel source changes in a vehicle have the power to modify our parking facilities. So even if electric vehicles help solve environmental issues, traffic and parking concerns will continue to remain. Driverless vehicles will especially make a huge impact in the way parking is done. What this means is architectural designs of parking facilities will significantly change. And if you look at the bigger picture, this may also change the way we design buildings, towns, and cities – hopefully for the better.
Importance of a Good Parking System
It goes without saying that we are in dire need of a good parking system in the Philippines, and not only to soothe our raging drivers but for the following reasons as well:
- Optimizes Space – Our current problem is that we are running out of space to build parking spaces, but that’s not the root of the issue. It lies in the fact that the parking systems we have now are inefficient and make poor use of space. We need a better management system that will direct drivers to available slots so they don’t end up scrambling over where to park and clogging the pathways. Once this is achieved, parking areas won’t be so crowded with impatient drivers.
- Improves Security – A good parking system should come with enhanced security. As said before, safety is one of the emerging issues in parking. Drivers always worry about the safety of their vehicles, but this concern can easily be eliminated if developers implement various security measures. They need only to lower the threats of property theft, damage, and injury.
- Increases Business Activity – People are attracted to places where there is high parking availability. It’s human nature to not want to deal with the difficulty of finding a parking spot. So if we can create a parking system where drivers are guaranteed a spot, then it will draw more people in. It can be for businesses purposes but can be for other things, too.
- Creates a Foundation for Redevelopment – Investors want to see a clear path for the future of the city they’re interested in and one thing they are going to look at is the parking system in place. Not only does a good parking system attract crowds, it also attracts material investment and further secures benefits for the community and its stakeholders.
- Provides Income – Of course, parking spaces aren’t built for free; it’s an investment that someone is hoping to profit from. A more efficient parking system can accommodate more cars and will lead to more income.
The Future of Car Parking Systems
Now that we’ve tackled everything there is about the parking system in the Philippines, we can talk about the future of parking systems. For now, many are set on developing technologies to aid smart parking. This means that aside from sensor technologies, other adaptable systems like wireless communications, data analytics, smart parking meters, and advanced algorithms will soon be integrated into our parking systems.
Conventional parking, which is the most popular parking system in the Philippines, may soon be a thing of the past. But as mentioned earlier, this is all speculation and possibilities. There are more pressing issues that need our attention. For now, we have no choice but to endure the pains of traffic and parking.
However, if the time to switch to automated parking systems ever does come, then developers need not look hard to obtain the necessary equipment. ELID Technology Intl. Inc. has state-of-the-art products that can help in building the best parking systems. Their products are high-quality and reliable, so there’s no need to choose another brand!
Why Trust ELID Technology?
When it comes to the world of automated parking systems, security systems, and attendance monitoring systems in the Philippines, ELID technologies can be the best bet you can make! With updated technology at its finest, ELID technology will surely keep your vehicle safe and secure while you’re away, as well as guarantee you an open parking spot with every trip!
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