This report examined the potential of a nationwide deployment of a SmartPark system designed to help truck drivers find a safe and available parking.
The SmartPark system works by collecting real-time information about nearby parking availability and communicating it in real-time to active drivers. Parking data collected from parking facilities is sent to an information processing center and then converted into parking availability information which is then posted on roadside dynamic message signs (DMS) and 511 systems, and made available to mobile devices and traveler information websites.
The diagram below excerpted from the source report highlights three main components of a SmartPark system.
The map below excerpted from the source report shows states with SmartPark programs as of September 2018.
Key findings and deployment recommendations:
- Start projects where potential benefit-to-cost ratios are greatest. Benefit-to-cost assessments should be conducted early in a SmartPark project to address decision-makers who will likely question the cost of building a SmartPark system versus building new parking capacity. In addition, private truck stop operators need time to build a business case for participation in a SmartPark project.
- Involve private parking providers. A comprehensive SmartPark system must include private parking providers. Nationwide, private truck stops have seven times as many truck parking spaces as do public rest areas.
- Publicize early successes. Success stories, even with modest benefits, can generate credibility and interest, and serve as public relations instruments to garner public acceptance of SmartParking systems.
- Establish consensus on data formats. Currently, there is no national standard for truck parking information data feeds and data formats. An authoritative standard for data feeds and data formats for truck parking information should be developed to reduce confusion among truckers who are looking for available truck parking and amenities.