Organizing urban mobility with holistic parking management

In order to reduce the amount of traffic searching for parking spaces and the volume of traffic in urban road traffic in general, decision-makers in business and politics need to set the right course today.

Without the right framework conditions, it seems likely that isolated solutions will become increasingly widespread and that the necessary networking of systems will be inadequate. "Therefore, early traffic planning control impulses are necessary in order to optimally design parking space and traffic management solutions with regard to the entire traffic system in the city", explains Uwe Pertz, SWARCO's Head of the Business Unit Parking and E-Mobility in Germany.

SWARCO's traffic and parking management solution is modular and can be tailored to the requirements of individual cities. By networking the individual modules via open interfaces, the city has many opportunities to enter the field of digitalization of flowing and stationary traffic. Be it, for example, via a dynamic traffic and parking guidance system, a parking app or even single space detection in the car park or at the roadside: Everything is networked and can be combined with each other.

Urban parking guidance systems show drivers the way to free parking spaces with the help of dynamic and static information displays. The occupancy status of individual parking facilities is recorded by sensors or barrier systems and then transmitted to the parking guidance computer via fixed or mobile communication networks. The parking control computer represents the central information logic for the individual applications and enables the operation of the entire system via a user interface. The parking computer and its software can be operated either by the city itself as an on-premise solution or by SWARCO as a cloud solution. "As market leader in Germany, we have designed and built more than 190 parking guidance systems in German cities", says Pertz proudly.

An expansion to a fully comprehensive traffic and parking guidance system is achieved if additional data is imported from external systems such as the traffic management system INES, an already available urban traffic computer, currently measured environmental data, public transport timetable information data or traffic control systems. While the classic parking guidance system only shows the available parking spaces in the connected parking structures and parking quarters, the integrated traffic and parking guidance system can additionally provide flexible traffic guidance by delivering information on traffic disturbances, detour recommendations, etc.

In order to provide the most flexible traffic information possible, the majority of dynamic signage is designed as fully graphic, full-color LED matrix displays. These displays normally show parking guidance information, but can also indicate any other information if required (e.g. traffic disruptions, environmental pollution, events, P+R recommendations, etc.). In scenarios, the intelligent parking guidance software determines which display contents are to be switched when a defined event is active. In general, all displays of the system can be influenced by a scenario.

PARCO ( is a mobile application by SWARCO for Apple iOS and Android smartphones for finding available parking spaces, ticketless or cashless payment and for the settlement of parking transactions. PARCO supports drivers in planning their trips or - when on the move - to find, access and pay for the nearest free and cheapest parking space quickly and stress-free. The app already contains parking information of more than 1,200 cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and will be further expanded.

Always find the best parking space
No matter what the situation and environment - you tell PARCO where to go, the app does the rest. PARCO uses millions of data to determine the best parking options near the desired destination and displays the most important information on parking costs, occupancy status, opening hours, facilities, etc.

Head for the parking lot
Did you find the best parking space? Price, location and availability are checked? Then PARCO will navigate you via the optimal route directly to the desired parking space.

Parking and payment
As soon as you arrive at the parking lot, the parking process is started by the user. The eternal search for change is over. With PARCO, a flexible online ticket is booked, which is paid for cashless via the customer account. The digital billing of parking processes is already offered via PARCO in 50 German cities. By the end of 2020, it will be about 130 cities in Germany and Austria. If desired, PARCO will navigate the parker to the destination and back to the car using "last mile navigation"

"In order to optimize parking search traffic and the overall traffic volume in urban road traffic in the long term, the networking of all solution components should be the focus of the overall planning of the traffic system", recommends Uwe Pertz. For this reason, in addition to the incentives for individual systems that have been available to date, targeted control impulses and framework conditions for holistic, modular platforms should be created.