Maarten Wings from Bosch Security Systems shares a troubling experience with airport parking – and how technology can make it better.
Around 5:00am one winter morning, I set out for an airport. The way there always had traffic, and parking was always so stressful. This airport was my only option to reach meetings in two countries, so I drove off early, beginning my passenger experience for the day.
At the airport, the lanes suddenly converged under parking and arrival signs that contradicted themselves. Confused, I veered off to the wrong parking garage. I had worked with smart intersection projects before, where video data helped analyse and improve traffic. But here was only confusion.
Pulling into the garage, I saw real-time signage indicating free parking spaces. Hundreds were displayed, but the first few levels were all full. To my surprise, the third level onwards was blocked for construction, so I doubled back to find another garage. But I wasn’t the only one. Cars were circling the ground level in a panic, speeding and driving the wrong way. The airport was apparently unaware of this dangerous situation even though smart cameras could have easily alerted the control room.
I reached the exit barrier, but my ticket had timed out. I called on the intercom for help. No answer. Running short on time, I got out of my car and found an airport worker who opened the barrier. I knew that video analytics could automatically detect a car stopping traffic at a barrier. Instead, I found myself getting out of my car and looking for help. Driving off, I could only hope to catch my flight.
Back outside, I had to make a long loop around the airport to find the other garage. I immediately drove in looking for free spots. With each level, I lost more time. I started to speed up and accidently scraped the side of my car against a pillar. As I finally parked, fully at my wits end, the flight was already boarding. I ran through the terminal to find my gate. Luckily, I did catch my plane, but I always remember how my passenger experience was ruined before I even reached the terminal. Parking technology could have prevented most of what went wrong that day. Our industry needs to shift from seeing cameras as a source of footage for after-the-fact analysis to a real-time data feed for improving the customer journey. Learn more at: https://www.boschsecurity.com/xc/en/industries/airports/