The senior staff of six companies that manufacture revenue control equipment sat in front of a group of interested attendees at PIE last week and spoke about the future and technology in parking. The panel had a few "moments" when one used the word "imbecile" and another referred to a asked a questioner how many Jeff Foxworthy albums he had, but there was also considerable substance in the presentation.
The primary focus was on the use of an automated system to collect fees for parking. Most agreed that an AVI type system that was interlinked to a persons credit cards was without a doubt the most convenient for the parker and best for the parking operation. It was also agreed, that facilities would never go completely cashless, at least in America.
It was thought that American’s individuality and desire for the ability to use non-trackable cash would keep some parkers in that mode, no matter what.
Personally I think that it will be a business decision by the parking facility operators and owners. They will weigh the cost of collecting that cash from the maybe 2% who won’t park there or don’t have a credit card versus the amount of money they will receive from those folks and make a decision. My prediction: The decision will be for cashless — you can’t stay in a major hotel or rent a car, without a credit card. There are reasons for that, many including the ability of the customer to affect the amount of money due. There is little difference in Parking.