“Telematics-controlled parking” and “Telematically Controlled Compact Parking” could prove to be the solution to HGV parking space shortage.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, alone, there is a shortage of 5,000 parking spaces according to data provided by the Association Spedition und Logistik e.V. (VSL). The federal government has recognised this problem and provided half a billion euros for the construction of new parking spaces. By the end of this year, 6,000 HGV parking spaces will be constructed in Germany with this money. These two figures prove, however, that this is by no means sufficient. In addition to further construction and expansion, technical solutions are required to utilise already existing parking spaces more efficiently.
Since 2005, there has been the so called telematics-controlled parking at the service and rest area Montabaur on the A3 motorway (direction north).
Construction of the pilot project has been supported by the Ministry of Transport. With the new system, it was possible to double the number of HGV parking spaces at Montabaur without the need of further construction. There are no parking bays for individual trucks, but parking lots in which several trucks can park behind each other. At the entrance to the parking lot, you have to pass a barrier and specify how long you want to park there. Sensors measure the length of the vehicle. By means of telematics, the system calculates in which parking lane there is enough space for the vehicle and assigns a space to the driver in which the vehicles parked in front depart earlier. The telematics detectors also recognise automatically when a vehicle parks in row ten instead of the assigned row eleven. The electronic parking-guard then takes this mistake into account when assigning further parking spaces. Everything is well in theory. In practice, however, there are occasional problems such as when too many vehicles have parked in the wrong lane or when a HGV driver does not depart on time. Another criticism: this is the first motorway parking where you have to pay a fee for parking.
In 2009 further parking spaces with a similar system were established at the off-motorway service area Lohfeldener Rüssel (Kassel). The telematics-controlled parking has proven to be so successful that the system has now been patented.
Telematically Controlled Compact Parking
The German Federal Ministry of Transport has provided four million euros for another automated parking system: The “Telematically Controlled Compact Parking”.
The two million euro pilot project reconstructed the HGV parking lot at the Jura West motorway interchange (A3 next to Velburg, direction Passau). Instead of 66 there are now 105 HGV parking spaces available on the same surface. The telematics-controlled parking was developed by an engineering office, while the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) was responsible for the development of the Telematically Controlled Compact Parking. Upon request of Portatio the authority writes:
“With the telematics-controlled parking system at Montabaur the HGV driver is assigned a parking space. In the case of Compact Parking, HGV drivers decide for themselves where to park depending on when they plan to leave and the length of the vehicle. The control management system of Compact Parking is not based on chronological sorting of vehicles (e.g. via active assignation of parking spaces or knowing the departure times of all trucks as in the case of telematics-controlled parking), but by displaying departure times in ascending chronological order in the direction the drive is travelling. The control management of Compact Parking offers departure times, that when taken into account by the HGV driver, the result is that trucks are sorted chronologically.
In the case of Compact Parking, HGV drivers are subject to the following conditions, among others, which contribute to obtain a good acceptance of such a system:
- They do not enter their departure time in any system
- The parking area is not restricted by a barrier, but is freely accessible
- Vehicles with the same departure time can park together (e.g. when several vehicles arrive from the same freight forwarding agency)
- If a vehicle does not depart on time, the vehicle parked behind can drive out over the neighbouring parking row since the vehicles in that row wanted to depart earlier anyway
- If a driver cannot find the desired departure time, it is possible to either park in a row in front, if there is a later departure time, or park in a row in the last position, if there is an earlier departure time. Drivers can therefore help to not hinder others
- Usually, “misconduct” i.e. a wrongly arranged driver has no effect on others
- Compact Parking is transparent, because when a driver arrives he knows when the vehicles in the row are going to leave and parks accordingly
- It is also cost-effective
Parking space apps
In addition to improved organisation of existing HGV driving spaces, there is another solution for drivers who want to take a break: parking space apps for mobile phones. They operate in a similar way to the speed camera app. Drivers report free parking spaces and vice-versa can see whether and where there is a parking space within the next 100 km e.g. There are various providers competing with each other that (still) offer their app for free. The oldest of such applications has been available for over 3 years. By the way: if the mobile phone is integrated in a fixed console of the vehicle, it may be used whilst driving if the traffic situation allows it. This way free parking space can be reported and searched for during the journey.