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License plate recognition technology is one way to enable contactless entry and exit for your parking facility.

By Geoffrey Posluszny, CPP

Contactless parking may become the new term for frictionless parking. Frictionless parking has been at the forefront of our industry for a few years now, but its application has potentially gained urgency, given current events. Frictionless parking can be utilized within your parking assets to provide contactless parking to not only your contract customers, who may already be contactless with the use of Proximity Cards or Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) Tags, but for your transient parkers as well.

(Read our previous post about contactless payment.)

With the use of License Plate Recognition (LPR) and/or QR/Barcode technology, combined with advance reservations, you can provide contactless parking to your non-contract parking customers. The retail parker can use the internet from the safety of their home, find your parking garage, and pre-register for a parking space. If your operation does not have a mobile app, 3rd party companies can provide this service, typically on a per-transaction fee basis. (As you can see in the photo above, LPR technology has improved significantly over the years. The smaller camera on the left replaces the larger ones on the right.)

Depending on the technology you’ve deployed at your facility, your customers will either enter their license plate information or receive an email or text with a QR/Barcode on their smart-mobile device. When that customer arrives at your facility the LPR system will recognize the license plate information and open the barrier gate, or the patron can scan the QR/Barcode they received to open the barrier gate. The same procedure ensures a contactless parking session upon exit from the facility. It’ certainly possible to support both LPR and QR/Barcode technology. As mentioned in a previous posting, customers may also be able to use a contactless payment card as a credential, if your PARCS is so equipped to accept them. Lastly, Bluetooth is making inroads into the world of PARCS, with many vendors beginning to offer solutions using that technology.

Gone are the days of “Push here for Ticket”, paying at a Pay-on-Foot, paying a cashier, or inserting a credit card at the exit. This “frictionless” technology has the potential to make your parking facility be truly “contactless” to operate more efficiently and bring new and additional revenue streams. Speak with your vendor or Walker to learn more about this and other technologies that can boost your bottom line while adding convenience and the contactless parking experience to your customers!