In shopping malls, theatres, stadiums, and offices, finding a parking space for cars has become a tedious task for most people today. That is one of the main reasons behind the rise in smart parking system development.
The development of smart parking systems will not only save time in parking the cars, but also make the experience hassle-free and convenient.
The smart vehicle parking systems are not a modern trend but a growing need. The rapid rise in population and car owners has changed the scenario. Roads have heavy traffic while space in even the large parking lots is falling short.
It is expected that by 2023, the investment in smart parking projects will reach $3.8 billion, witnessing a CAGR of 14% year over year. It’s good news because a smart car parking project can address the challenges related to finding the space for a car, while making it convenient for the users to access everything right from his mobile device.
The smart parking systems are powered by the internet of things (IoT) technology. What this technology does is collect the data from the parking area about free and occupied slots and sends it to users. The users can easily check things through their smartphones or tablets and choose the right parking place.
Another benefit of these systems is that the parking owners don’t have to accept cash payments from drivers. The smart systems can do the job of payments automatically.
Is there a demand for smart parking app development in the market? Let’s answer this with some quick statistics.
ParkWhiz is currently one of the most used parking apps. It is being used by 1,000,000+ Android users and has a rating of 4.4 on Google Play Store. Another parking app used widely in the US is MKE Park App.
The users of these apps increased significantly in no time. More than 40 million users are accessing over 4,000 parking locations in the US. Recent reports also reveal that around 30% of the cars are looking for a nearby parking location using mobile apps.
These stats show that IoT-based car parking apps are in demand today. Many startups and businesses are investing in this technology to grab the opportunity in this growing market.
However, there are many questions on this topic. How to develop a smart parking system mobile app? What is the cost to develop a smart car parking system using IoT app development? What are the key features of these apps? And more.
In this article, we have answered almost every question of yours.
A smart app for parking must exhibit the following features:
Register / Login: Feature to sign up for the app and create an account using an email address or phone number. Another good idea is to allow login using Google Account. This makes the user experience effortless.
Navigation and search: The app should provide suggestions about the nearby parking locations along with the number of vacancies. They can then check the distance to the location and start navigating towards it.
User profile: After signing up, the user should be able to edit his profile. This allows him to add his photo, contact number, email address, and other information to the profile.
Booking: Integrate a feature that allows users to book a slot whenever required. There should also be options to book a slot on a weekly or monthly basis. This is good for the users who park their cars on a regular basis in that area. While booking a slot, the driver should also be able to add the expected time of arrival and departure.
Payment: With this option, they should be able to pay online using debit/credit cards or mobile banking apps. People nowadays like to avoid cash tinker.
Push notifications: Push notifications are great when it comes to showing the current offers and discounts to the app users. You can also notify them about app updates and the time when their parking time is about to end. This will help them in avoiding the fine or additional payment.
Parking history: An option to check the history of bookings should be there so that the user can check things whenever required. This feature will also include the payment history and mode of payment.
Multiple cities: If the user has travelled to any other city, he should be able to use the app there as well to find a nearby parking place.
Waiting list: If there are no parking vacancies in a certain location, the user should be able to check the waiting time to book a slot.
Pricing: Before booking a slot, the pricing should be shown. You can include a feature to show the full rate card for advance bookings on a weekly or monthly basis.
Multilingual support: The app should support multiple languages so that users don’t have to get stuck and use the app in the language of their choice.
Help/Support: It is an important feature to support and help the customers if there are any issues. They should be able to contact the customer service via chat or call.
Rating & review: User should have the option to rate his experience and write a review. Reviews are good, helping other users to decide which parking system is right for them. Parking owners can also see the review and improve the experience for more users.
User Management: This will allow the admin to manage the users from the backend.
Revenue Control: Only the administrator can access the revenue flow of the app and the charges related to both the user and the parking provider.
Manage Earnings: Admin should be able to manage the earnings of the parking provider, commissions, etc.
Approve/Reject drivers profile: When a new user signs up to the app, the admin receives a notification and can check his activities. In case there are any fraudulent activities, the admin can block or ban the user from using the app further.
Bookings Manager: A unified panel or option to manage all the bookings made using the mobile app.
Manage offers: Management of promotions, coupon codes, discounts, etc. should be managed by the admin.
Add new locations: If any new parking provider joins the app, the admin can add the new location in the app. Moreover, if the services are expanded to more cities, this can also be processed from the admin panel.
Reports: Option to see analytics and reports to understand whether the app is growing, what are the performance metrics, things to improve for further growth, etc.
Register/login: Signing up new parking providers.
Add ID Proof: Uploading relevant documents for credibility.
Contact customers: Contact number and email address for customers to reach out.
Receive payment from customers: Get payments from customers with their preferred payment options.
Check reviews and ratings: For parking providers to check the reviews and ratings posted by the customers. They should also be able to reply.
Accept or decline parking request: When a request is submitted by the customer, the parker should be able to accept or reject it.
The app will connect the driver to the parking location listed in the app. When the driver opens the app, this is how it will work:
Search: By enabling GPS or turning the location tracking on, the user can find his car in the app.
Compare: The app will show all the nearby parking spots, along with their pricing/hour, distance, available slots, and other details. The driver can compare his preferences and proceed to the next step.
Book and pay: Once the choice is made, he can pay online and book the slot.
Drive: After booking, the app will show the map navigation towards the parking slot. The driver just needs to follow the route and reach the destination.
Park: Driver can park the car in the slot booked by him.
Start with some market research to understand the current state of car parking systems, competitors, the budget required to build the app, marketing strategies, etc. You can then decide whether to make it a local app or global app, look for investors, and take other important decisions.
If you don’t have an in-house team of dedicated developers, then it will be great to choose a reliable web development company that can build a smart parking system project in Java or any other coding language. Share your expectations and requirements with them and get things done.
It would be great if you include all the features mentioned above in this article. However, if you are not sure about any specific attribute, then you can exclude it. Finalize all the elements to understand which technologies will be required further, in case some features need third-party integration.
The UI/UX design of the app will play a vital role in the app’s success. The navigation in the app should be simple so that users don’t find it challenging to find the required options. The connection between each screen should be smooth and consistent across the entire app. In short, the users should like the UX and feel at ease while using it.
Once the app has been developed (both backend and front-end), it is time to test it. There should not be any glitches or issues with any features. The aim of testing is to find flaws in the UX so that these can be avoided before launch.
When the mobile app is tested and ready, it can be released on app marketplaces, including Google Play Store and App Store. The app release should be a part of the marketing campaigns to receive initial installations quicker.
Also, there are specific policies to be followed to list an app on marketplaces. Taking care of these things right from the time of the development phase will save you the time required at the end moment.
Every mobile app needs maintenance and bug fixes every now and then. You can either let a web development company take charge or hire a dedicated developer for this. If any customer has an issue with the app, he can report it, and the developers will resolve it.
The businesses or entrepreneurs looking to enter this market have this question often: How much does it cost to develop an IoT-based smart parking mobile app?
The answer is that it depends on varied factors, such as the features to be integrated within the app, experience and expertise of the team (developers, designers, testers) working on it, country of operation, technical specifications, etc.
Moreover, if the app is built for both Android and iOS, then the cost will also increase.
Regardless of all the factors, here is a breakdown of the cost to develop a smart vehicle parking system using IoT:
Since the cost of developers and designers vary based on the country of their residence, on average the smart parking system cost will be between $50,000 to $1,00,000.
Development of a car parking system using IoT is not a trend but the need of the hour. Not many companies or startups have grabbed the opportunity yet, but those who have invested in the plan are experiencing massive benefits. Apps like ParkMobile, ParkMe, and ParkNow are just a few examples of successful mobile apps for smart parking.
If you have any questions related to web or mobile app development, we are all ears. Use the comments sections below.