Merx’s core focus has always been delivering inspiring spaces for our clients, be it cutting-edge offices, versatile airport hangers, or timeless high-end resorts. Another property type of particular interest to us is car parks – a lesser talked about but important component of a city’s transport network.

Here are 4 factors we see influencing the future of car parks.

I. Car sharing replacing car ownership

For the last century, cars have been viewed as a personal asset. Looking forward, car ownership shall become less important, with the continuous growth of ride-hailing and vehicle sharing services, including the adoption of self-driving Autonomous Vehicles.

The Boston Consulting Group and World Economic Forum surveyed more than 5,500 consumers in 27 cities, across ten countries, on acceptance of Autonomous Vehicles. The results: more than half of consumers are ready to accept Autonomous Vehicles, of which Asian consumers are the most ready.

It is expected that with the adoption of Autonomous Vehicles, ride-hailing and vehicle sharing services shall become even more popular. This popularity shall contribute directly to a diminishing demand for carparks.

Sources: Consumer survey, Q3 2015: World Economic Forum; BCG analysis

II. Smarter carpark designs

Parking is an unavoidably high-friction experience for many drivers. In urban spaces, often this involves scouring city blocks for an elusive parking spot, before manoeuvring into a tight space. Given all the hard work, this is not the most efficient use of parking space.

Here are 3 possible futures to car parking:

a. For single-story car parks, robot valets complete the parking process once the car has been dropped off.

b. For multi-storey parking systems, automation has already entered markets, where vehicles can be dropped off at designated points to be vertically parked using hydraulic systems.

c. Both automated systems allow ‘Fluid’ car park designs where parking spaces are allocated on demand by intelligent algorithms to amalgamate parking patterns, eliminating the need for line marking, ramps and footpaths.

Fluid car park designs result in maximising space for cars and minimising space for the circulation of both cars and people.

III. Changes to overall cityscape

With 68 per cent of the world’s population projected to live in urban environments by the year 2050, cities worldwide are seeking more efficient land use, ease of traffic gridlock and ways of providing affordable transport options for all.

Encouraging positive changes to cityscape is a multi-stakeholder responsibility, reaching across industry, city planners, public sector and regulators.

“Adoption of a car-sharing economy and smart automated parking systems will free downtown cores of giant car parking complexes, opening up valuable inner-city spaces for humans, not vehicles."
WILLIAM FORWOOD
Will Forwood
Merx Group CEO

IV. Complementary industries opening up

Riding on the trend, the following industries can attract business and investment:

  • Design and construction firms with expertise in deploying forecourt and lay-by areas (ie; drop-off and pick-up), particularly for large scale use (eg. in stadiums, malls).
  • Electrical engineering and contracting firms providing charge for electric vehicles. Now becoming the norm, every parking space shall incorporate charging ports.
  • Automated parking software applications integrating smartphones, car dashboards with car parks.
  • Complex algorithms, with deep learning, for providing hyper-efficient car park patterns, managing city traffic and so forth.
  • Project Managers transitioning existing car park businesses to other profit centres.

We live in exciting times as the pace of human innovation brings ideas that were once Hollywood science fiction, into real life.

Merx continues to influence the future of work and living.

For information on the services that Merx provides or to discuss your office requirements please contact:

WILLIAM FORWOOD_website 512 512

William Forwood

Group CEO
Paul Scroggie – Blog

Paul Scroggie

Director Hong Kong, Macau and PRC
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Colin Clark

Director Project Management Singapore and SEA