The Future of Parking: Safety Benefits and Challenges


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SAFE-D: Safety Through Disruption National University Transportation Center


Although parking facilities are one of the main components of transportation infrastructure, little is known about the incidence of parking-related crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Slower speeds in parking facilities give people a false sense of security. However, both drivers and pedestrians must be cautious in parking facilities. n. This situation is clearly reflected in non-motor traffic crash statistics (i.e., crashes that occur off-public roadways), as most non-traffic motor crashes occur in parking facilities or private roads. With the increase in emerging autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies, such as self-driving and self-parking, the parking experience is expected to improve. The goal of this research is to explore parking facility design and operational change recommendations to improve parking safety in light of the advent of self-parking features. The research team identified potential design changes and self-parking penetration scenarios to improve safety. Expected changes to parking and street design were assessed in terms of the reduced number of conflicts for vehicles and pedestrians and exposure for pedestrians using microsimulation techniques. Results suggest that AVs not only increase parking capacities but also improve safety significantly for the entire system once higher penetration rates are reached. The capacity increase was calculated between 9% and 20% for off-street parking and parking garages. Moreover, comparing the base scenarios, AVs can reduce the number of conflict points by 7% to 45% with the AV penetration rates of 25% and 75% respectively. The changes were consistent through different parking types. The reduction in pedestrian-vehicle exposure ranged from 14% to 72% with the recommended layout improvements considering the different AV penetration rates.



Parking safety, Self parking, Future of parking, Automated vehicles, AVs