Australians spend on average 14 hours a year in search of an elusive perfect parking space, new research from HERE Technologies has shown, with young drivers prioritising conveniently located spots wasting twice as much time as older drivers, and more keen to adopt tech solutions to ease their parking pain.
The survey of more than 1,000 Australians revealed we’re a nation frustrated by parking and the traffic congestion it causes, but it’s 18-24yo’s taking more time than any other age group to find a park, with one in four (23%) wasting 30 minutes and over a week – double that over 55yo’s.
The research shows 30 per cent of Australians think it’s become more difficult to find available parks in the last year, to the point it’s leading one in four to choose alternate forms of transport (24%) and a similar number (25%) avoiding driving all together. Just 4 per cent think parking access has improved.
Our youngest drivers (18-24yo’s) are the pickiest of parkers, more than twice as likely to pay a premium to park closer to their destination (21%) than over 65yo’s (9%). Contributing to pollution and devouring fuel appears to be of little concern, given 36 per cent would drive more often if a free park was guaranteed at their end-point.
But when it comes to avoiding parking challenges, HERE APAC Director, Mark Whitmore, said: “While our newest drivers are suffering the most parking pain, they’re also the most open to solutions like alternate transport, ride-sharing or bicycles and most significantly, in technology of the future.”
When asked what measures Australians would take in the future to avoid parking challenges, under 25 year old’s overwhelmingly showed a preference for technology. Over half (56%) want an app to direct them to available parking spaces, while almost one in three want to use internet connected car features (31%) or built in sat-nav systems (37%) that can help drivers navigate to free parks.
“Just like online banking has eliminated the need to wait in bank queues, the inconvenience of searching for car parks will soon be a relic of the past as fully self-driving cars capable of parking themselves become widely available across Australia in as little as five years,” Whitmore said.
“But before we can take our hands off the wheel completely, the next-generation of internet connected cars coming onto the market today are set to make the challenge of finding that elusive park far easier.”
“Connected car technology can provide information to drivers about parking availability and on-street parking restrictions in real-time and can even estimate how long you’ll need to factor in to find a spot, based on historical data. At HERE Technologies we’re even looking into how we can use vehicle’s side mirror sensors to identify when adjacent parking spaces become available.”
“Building greater awareness of on-street parking options not only helps alleviate the stress of locating parking for drivers, it also impacts pedestrians and cities on a wider scale – with limited parking causing more than 30 percent of overall inner city traffic.”
Other key findings include:
- Burning calories not cash: Only 14% of people are happy to pay for parking if it means being close to their destination whereas half of Australians say they would prefer to walk a longer distance if it means they park for free
- Congestion contribution: Circling drivers looking for car parks are making traffic congestion worse according to 35% of Tasmanians compared to NSW 26%, VIC, SA 24% and QLD 19%
- Shhh… don’t tell anyone: Sneaky Millennials three times as likely to have a ‘secret’ free parking spot near their work or home compared to over 55s (24% of 18-35yo’s compared to over 55s 8%)
- Parking pain more severe: It’s become more difficult to find a park in the last 12 months according to 50% of people in ACT followed by TAS (35%), QLD, NSW (31%) VIC (30%)
- Leaving the car at home: Public transport was the most common way Australians avoid a parking migraine (42%) followed by one in four choosing to cycle or walk more often (24%) and 13 per cent hailing a taxi or Uber
Whitmore said HERE’s On-Street Parking service was available for connected car sat navs to provide drivers with Information about parking restrictions and availability, helping drivers find a parking spot with a granularity of 15 minutes. HERE On-Street Parking service also provides estimates, indicating the time that the driver will need to find a parking spot on a given day and at a given time.