/ MOBILITY & TECH
Overcoming Technophobia By Jessica Britton
ECHNOLOGY HAS TRANSFORMED PARKING . During the past
generation, the industry has evolved from where cash payments were often collected and placed into cigar boxes to a largely cashless enterprise in which people pay with credit cards and cell phones. Technology has swung toward apps that allow drivers to use their personal devices to find available parking, pay for it, and enjoy the benefits of parking loyalty programs. Soon, many of these appbased parking services will be preloaded onto the dashboards of new cars so we can manage parking transactions that much more efficiently.
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resistance when it comes to technology, and that often means sticking with what they know rather than trying something new. ■ The third and final barrier can be found in common design issues that limit the usefulness of individual technologies. Sometimes, ideas that seemed great on the drawing board don’t work as planned out on the street or in garages.
Overcoming Barriers So, how do you overcome these barriers to achieve widespread adoption of new technologies? Some of the responsibility falls on the municipalities, institutions, and private lot operators who implement the equipment and some rests on the equipment makers themselves. The first key is education. For large-scale introduction of new technology, like mobile payment apps, the city introducing the app should work closely with the app provider to educate local drivers about the bene-
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The technology revolution couldn’t have come at a better time. The parking technologies that we take for granted every day—mobile payment apps, advanced PARCS, parking guidance, and other tools—were developed to make parking more convenient and manageable. As we’ve discovered during this pandemic, these same technologies can help promote public health by minimizing common touch points on which viruses can accumulate and allowing drivers to manage and pay from their parking from the comfort and safety of their private vehicle. As we all know, technologies are only useful if they are adopted, and not everyone feels comfortable using new technologies. At least not right away. There are many potential barriers to adoption, but there are three primary ones: ■ First and most common is people’s hesitancy to try new technologies. People have comfort zones and many don’t like to stray outside those comfort zones. ■ The second common barrier to adoption is confusion about how to use a particular piece of technology. Equipment isn’t always intuitive and people often have difficulty learning how to use new technologies. People will always seek the point of least