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/ PARKING & MOBILITY SPOTLIGHT/AIRPORTS

Using Technology to Enhance Safety at Airport Parking Lots By Ron Rich

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ECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES HAVE CHANGED THE WAY we order coffee and pick up groceries. With just

a few quick taps on our smartphones, our orders are available and ready for pickup in seconds, just the way we like them. These everyday activities have become more efficient because of the investments businesses are making in technology. These same digital improvements are now becoming the norm for airport parking. Operators and suppliers have made many advancements in infrastructure and processes to enhance our customers’ visits while creating a safer parking experience. The physical safety of customers and their vehicles has always been of the upmost importances, but customers’ own health and wellness have shifted to the forefront of their decisions.

Embracing a Touchless Experience Gone are the days of having to keep track of paper reservations. Mobile applications have transformed the way customers store their travel information—from hotel reservations to yes, airport parking reservations. This was on its way before COVID and has greatly accelerated as a result of the pandemic. If your organization has not yet invested in a mobile application for your loyal customers, it may be the time. Mobile application users are specifically benefiting the most from technology.

Smartphone pay is available so customers don’t need to see a cashier to check out and can have a safe touchless experience. Additionally, some apps offer a digital locator feature so customers can store their vehicle’s parking space number inside the app rather than referencing a physical card as they did in the past. To create a truly touchless experience, QR codes (short for “quick response”) have been engaged to fully automate multiple touchpoints. This improvement has increased lot security, as it eliminates the possibility of customers losing paper tickets or mixing up paper tickets with other customers. Moreover, it increased customer safety, as customers can now enter and exit lots without needing to touch a button to print a ticket. Whether or not your company has invested in a mobile app, implementing QR codes is a quick and simple technological update you can leverage now. QR codes can simplify processes and help customers avoid physical interactions to reduce any health exposure.

16 PARKING & MOBILITY / MAY 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG

Safety and Health The Coronavirus pandemic encouraged the airport parking industry (among so many other industries) to enhance health and hygiene measures. Many operators invested heavily in sanitation stations and PPE for staff and customers in an effort to do their part to combat the pandemic while maintaining a pleasant and safe environment. Along with other industry sectors, airport parking operators also introduced touchless check-in and checkout experiences. If your organization is considering revamping its technology capabilities, a telltale sign that it may be time to make changes is when workarounds or dead ends are being hit, or when you are making sacrifices on business developments due to your current systems. With technology constantly evolving, it should never restrict your company’s goals—it should empower them!

Profile for International Parking & Mobility Institute

Parking & Mobility, May 2021  

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