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The Ultimate Guide to Build a Smart Parking App

By 

Maulik Kotak

parking app development

The world’s economy grows steadily. Our financial well-being means we would have more means of personal and public transportation. Our businesses are rapidly growing and increasing demand for goods transportation too.

Overall vehicular movements on the roads are touching new highs and we are facing a shortage of parking spaces, mostly in urban areas. The owners of vehicles are facing extreme difficulties in finding parking places and moving here and there frequently for safe and legitimate parking. However, with the advent of modern technologies, we have found various solutions and mobile parking applications are one of them. Today, people are talking about “smart parking” which is something more than a mobile app.

Smart parking solutions involve the latest technologies, including ultrasonic, AI, IoT, RFID, and others. The combination of such advanced technologies has eased many pain points of the parking industry. However, the pivot component of smart parking solutions is the parking app.

Therefore, the owners of parking spaces whether they are local governing bodies or private real estate, looking for viable parking apps working for their spaces.

Keeping the demands in mind, many app entrepreneurs have invested in parking app development and today we will have an ultimate guide to building a parking app.

Parking App Types:

The parking app industry boasts different types of mobile and web applications or a combination of both. Obviously, the web interface remains as the back-end while the mobile app becomes the front-end. Therefore, we will discuss an application in a general sense.

Parking App Types Based On Coverage-

Before developing a smart parking application, you must define its geographies or areas to cover,

Local Parking App

The majority of app startups are building parking app up to a specific area like a city, state, or country. Thereby, they are local in a sense.

Global Parking App

With the pace of time, local apps scaling up and covering different areas of the world. For example, ParkMe is a global app and covering more than 65 countries today.

Parking App Types Based On Functionality-

We can build parking app types based on functionality or say purpose.

Park Management App

This type of platform involves functions like searching, reserving, and paying for the parking space.

Park Assistant App

Parking App Types Based On Parking Management Tools-

Here, parking app developers build parking app around one or more tools, such as:

Finding Parking Spaces (Navigation)

Here, the tool is navigation. Drivers can search the nearest place to park space for their vehicles in advance. In a sense, the app helps you navigate the best space nearby your destination place.

Reservation for Parking Spaces (Navigation & Booking)

Here, the app allows drivers to navigate the suitable space as well as booking that space in advance. The period may be a few hours or days in advance. You need to pay at the time of checkout the space in person, and the app doesn’t allow payment. On-demand service apps are of these types.

Navigation to Payment (Complete Solution)

Here, the app offers a complete set of tools, such as navigation, booking, and payment. Thus, the app lets customers pay for parking within the app itself at the time of checkout. Moreover, the parking owner/manager can charge a partial or full amount as the deposit at the time of booking.

Today, most apps contain complete solutions and other custom features as well as functionality.

How Does Smart Parking App Work?

The smart parking applications offer the following functionality:

  • Searching
  • Comparing
  • Booking
  • Paying
  • Driving
  • Parking

Benefits of Smart Parking Apps

The benefits of smart parking apps are numerous but we will see only some important ones.

App automatic locating a free space for you.

Today, urban parking plots are vertically expanded due to the high premium real state. However, some parking plots are horizontally wide and cover large spaces such as parking at airports and railway stations.

Drivers never prefer to move their vehicles here and there to find the empty parking place, nor manually walk to locate a space. Therefore, such parking services use a software system to locate the empty slot. And we can bring the data in the mobile app directly.

Thus, the app automatically displays the empty spaces in the app and drivers can book the suitable one for them.

The app helps in maximizing the space utility.

Some vehicles are parking for a few hours only while some are for an entire day or more. Now, the app can display the booking schedule with a time frame and let drivers book those slots in advance. This way app helps parking plot owners to get the maximum revenue for their parking spaces.

The app saves time, fuel and reduces air pollution.

App drastically cuts the additional movements of vehicles to locate the empty spaces and lets drivers drive straight from the road to their booked parking space. It saves time and fuel as well as decreases air pollution.

Considerations before Forming Strategy for Parking App Development

Below are hints of a few considerations you need to count while going to build parking apps.

  • Count all possible pros and cons of parking application development and be ready to face risks involved in it.
  • Perform a SWOT analysis by meeting the people who are already in the industry.
  • Form an LLC and limit your liability as well as protect your personal assets.
  • Cooperate and coordinate with allied and local businesses, such as fuel stations, charging stations, air filling stations, rest stops, and big garages to gain more traffic and reputation.
  • Focus on user experience in the parking apps.
  • Think of maintenance and marketing-like aspects well in advance.
  • Select the expert developers or IIH Global like parking app development companies. As IIH Global has extensive experience and expertise in parking app development projects.

Features According to Parking Application User Groups

By default, a parking app should have three kinds of user groups:

  1. Drivers/Chauffeur
  2. Park owners
  3. App managers or back-end managers

For Chauffeurs:

For the driver’s profile, you need to develop the following modules when you are going to build parking app.

  • Authentication module with two-factor authorization.
  • The geolocation module helps drivers to trace the entire path from the road to parking space on the Map interface.
  • The search module assists drivers to locate the nearby parking plot as well as available spaces in that plot on the Map module
  • Map module integrates the app with Map API and shows real-time updates through satellite signals.
  • The timer module counts the time spent by the vehicle as well as alerts the driver regarding their time through notifications when the vehicle is booked for a fixed time and it is going to finish.
  • Booking module to book the empty slot in the parking and it often demands advance payment too.
  • Payment modules offer options for payment methods, modes, and acceptance of different types of cards.
  • The rating and review module facilitates drivers to rate the parking plot and give their feedback or experience with it.
  • The support module offers quick support for any issue that arises while using the app or space.

For Park Owners:

For parking plot owners, some modules differ and we will discuss them here.

  • The user management module allows owners to allocate different users’ roles in the app.
  • The parking lot management module allows the owner to manage spaces as super admin whenever any complication or an emergency occurs.
  • The pricing module facilitates the owner to fix the pricing models in the app based on time, space, and vehicle types. Remember here we are not talking about car parking only, but also discussing other two-wheeler and four-wheeler vehicles for personal to industrial parking plots.
  • The booking monitor module assists park owners to check or monitor booking activity in the app.
  • The revenue management module permits the owner to manage bills, invoicing, incentives like referrals, driver’s commission, etc.
  • Feedback module to know user pain points.

For Service Managers:

In most cases, park owners hire service managers to manage the services, maintenance, and day-to-day activities relevant to the parking plot. Thus, the app allows the creation of a service manager role in the admin panel and allocates desired access to essential modules. Let’s see them.

  • User module under the service manager role is empowered with driver management features so this role can add, delete, and modify the data in drivers’ modules,
  • CMS module to manage various content in the app.
  • The parking management module lets managers manage various aspects of parking right from search to payment.
  • The push notification module allows the service manager to send different types of messages to drivers as well as owners if needed.

Steps to Build Parking App:

The following is an outline of the different steps involved in building parking applications.

  1. Audience Research
  2. Competition Study
  3. Planning to Designing
  4. Programming
  5. Testing & QA
  6. Deployment & Maintenance

Tech Stacks to Build Parking Apps:

The followings are the list of required tech stacks to build parking apps. Since technologies are changing rapidly, I have avoided giving the name of technologies in the list.

  • Operating system or OS
  • Database management system
  • Cloud system
  • Payment integration
  • Push notification or SMS integration
  • Email integration
  • IDE for programming
  • Real-time analytic integration

Estimation to Build A Smart Parking App:

We already have discussed the different modules needed for each role of users. So, cost estimation will be based on those modules and their rates per hour. However, I would like to mention some factors which are likely to affect the entire cost estimation and those are:

  • Sensors’ integration
  • Geolocation integration
  • IoT integration
  • AI technology integration
  • Third-party APIs and software integration
  • Custom features and functionality
  • Deadline or timeline for the development

How to Monetize Smart Parking App?

The followings are the most preferred ways to monetize your smart parking application.

  • By Drawing Commissions
  • By Featuring Spaces for Branding or Marketing
  • By Ads
  • By Drawing Subscription Fees
  • By Offering Loyalty Points

We at IIH Global will gladly come alongside you and share our technical knowledge of car parking mobile app development. Don’t be shy and contact us. If you still have second thoughts, you can book a free online consultation with one of our managers.

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