What’s New? And What’s Green …


What’s New? And What’s Green …

The Intertraffic Amsterdam 2010 last week should give us some idea of what we will be seeing at the IPI exhibition May 10-13 in Las Vegas. The major players (revenue control companies, on-street equipment suppliers) are the same, and their wares on display, for the most part, are the same.

So what was new at Intertraffic? Not a heck of a lot. Most of the features were cleaner, better, faster, prettier versions of what was seen two or even four years ago.

I was impressed with a parking guidance system for garages that now uses video to monitor each parking space. With the LPR feature, you can key in your license plate number and it will tell you where you are parked. It was spun as “green” — park quicker, less pollution and fuel usage, etc.

There also was a new gate from Magnetic Automation. I recommend that you check it out at the IPI show. Try to find the motor. Very fast, very rugged. I liked it.

One emphasis, however, was different. It was “green.” Everywhere at Intertraffic, there was a “spin” that turned what you saw last year as a gizmo to help park cars or collect money into a gizmo that saves electricity, lowers a carbon footprint, or whatever.

The push this year was power stations for electric vehicles. This is a way to collect money from people who plug their electric cars into outlets in the parking garages and charge the batteries while they are working or shopping or having lunch. It’s great – you use the ticket you pull on entry to turn on the electric “pump”; when you leave, you pay for your parking and your power at the same time.

The concept of shutting down pay-on-foot equipment when not in use and saving power was neat, too. Of course, suppliers of pay-and-display equipment have been doing this for years. Everywhere I looked at Intertraffic, there were solar cells and charts showing how much energy was saved by using this or that company’s gear.

As far as I could see, however, very few changes were made to the actual equipment (maybe some paint or a few words here and there); however, the PR folks and graphics designers had a field day.

    IPI Executive Director Shawn Conrad and Bonnie Watts, its Sales & Marketing VP, were there. It’s been years since the International Parking Institute sent someone to Intertraffic. It was great to see them waving the red, white and blue.

    But outside of a few here and there who were employed by the exhibitors, Shawn and Bonnie nearly doubled the number of Americans attending. (Bob Caplin of Next Parking and his wife were the other two. Oh, and John Hammerschlag was in attendance, looking for ideas for his next garage. OK, I’m sure there were others, but I didn’t see them.

    Manufacturers spend big bucks on Intertraffic. Some of the booths cost more than a quarter of a million dollars. No lie. The parties in the evening rival the “after” parties at the Academy Awards.

    Plan to attend Intertraffic Amsterdam 2012. It’s worth the trip, even if you spend more time looking at the Rembrandts than at the exhibit hall.

Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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