Parking equipment manufacturer APT Skidata, part owned by ITS (UK) member SWARCO, has launched a new ‘Ticketless’ solution using the latest automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to enhance the customer experience.
Ideally suited to those operators offering an initial free parking period, the new solution replaces conventional paper tickets or RFID cards and uses the vehicle licence plate as the access medium or ‘virtual ticket’. Drivers therefore gain fast and easy access to parking, without the issues over lost tickets or tickets that are damaged or torn; operators significantly reduce the cost of consumables whilst further improving the customer journey.
As the driver approaches the entry point, the licence plate is read with a very high degree of accuracy. On exit, if the customer has exceeded their free parking period, payment can be made at an automated payment machine, manual cash desk, handheld solution Mobile.Gate, or at an optional exit column. They simply enter their license plate and the appropriate fee is calculated. The exit barrier automatically opens for all paid parking transactions.
Pete Brown, Managing Director at APT Skidata, says that the new Ticketless solution means a higher throughput of vehicles: “With customer service at the heart of everything we do, giving operators greater choice over how they control entry/exit into their car park is paramount.”
Operators can either use the full Ticketless mode, or a combination of tickets and ticketless if a back-up solution is required. This ‘Ticket-Reduced’ configuration gives operators the convenience of a ticketless system complemented by the operational efficiency and reliability of a ticket-based system. If, for any reason, the licence plate cannot be captured or the system is out of operation, a back-up ticket is automatically issued.
Full reports on a daily or weekly basis can be produced on car park occupancy and payment/non-payment, useful in applications where an exit barrier may not be desired. An ‘honesty button’ feature can also be accommodated in lost-ticket scenarios if a ticket has been issued.
The other significant advantage of an ANPR-based system is that it helps to reduce fraud: “Since each vehicle is uniquely identified by its licence plate, the abuse of free parking can be avoided,” Pete adds.
The hybrid solution is fully integrated into APT SkiData’s Parking.Logic and PlateTech.Logic systems, with over 40 highly developed software modules that provide an extensive range of functionality. It is scalable from single sites to large and complex networked facilities, such as those used in shopping centres and out of town leisure facilities. It comes with comprehensive reporting and auditing features.
APT Skidata is a joint venture of Swarco AG and Skidata AG in Austria.