Florida’s St. Pete Beach Taps Smart Parking for Tourism Boom
Florida’s St. Pete Beach is using IoT technology to give visitors real-time updates on available parking spaces, negating the need to drive around for hours looking for parking.
City officials teamed up with Conure to find a way to bring real-time beach parking availability to visitors of the Pass-a-Grille beach area of the city. The solution was a platform by Libelium which deploys 750 IoT nodes to flag occupied parking spots allowing visitors to check and locate a spot before traveling. The system also highlights dedicated disabled parking spaces that are closer to city amenities.
The sensors use radar technology to detect whether or not vehicles are parked in spots. That information is then sent to a cloud platform to be relayed to a smartphone app, as well as St. Pete Beach’s official website.
“The initiative was fueled by the city’s desire to provide better information to the public regarding parking availability within the city, and as a goal to make the parking experience easier for visitors in the city,” said Michelle Gonzales, community development director for the city of St. Pete Beach.
The platform will be piloted for a year in the Pass-a-Grille district before potentially rolling out to a second location.
Smart parking technologies are a boon for areas like St. Pete Beach, where heavy traffic can dampen the visitor’s experience, according to Libelium CEO Alicia Asin.
The solution is expected to help improve traffic flow by directing drivers to available parking spots, as well as encouraging them to choose public transportation when parking is tight.
“The city of the future is smart and connected,” Asin said. “St. Pete Beach is one of the best holiday spots in the world, so it wouldn’t be right to allow heavy traffic flow and unintuitive parking systems to ruin tourist’s experience.”
Officials say the platform will be piloted for a year in the Pass-a-Grille district before potentially rolling out to a second location.
The global market for smart parking technologies is set to reach $11.1 billion by 2027 from $6 billion in 2019 with the largest revenue share attributable to North America, according to Allied Market Research.