Parking control systems technology guide
The right technology for parking access control can have a huge impact on the security, ease of use, and ROI of your commercial security system. Vehicle access and gate control systems are often a large investment for commercial properties. Technology that is flexible and future-proof can reduce the burden on property owners, and make managing multiple parking access control systems at any number of locations easier. Take a look at the latest vehicle access control technology offers from the perspective of cost, time management, and security.
PIN pad readers for parking access control
A popular option for commercial parking lot and garage security systems, PIN readers require a user to input a passcode in order to open the parking gate. While cost-effective to install, PIN readers are not as secure or convenient as newer types of technology. For example, a shared vehicle access control PIN code is easily compromised if one person tells the code to a visitor or guest. Users are also likely to forget the code and get locked out, putting additional burden on building management teams and causing backups at the parking gate. A garage access control system that supports different PIN codes for different users may result in less code-sharing, but will be more work to manage and track everyone’s codes. Plus, typing in a code every time you need to enter or exit the parking lot is time consuming, and not ideal if there are a lot of people needing access at the same time. In addition, a keypad gate security system requires more maintenance, and will encounter more wear-and-tear over time.
Fob and key card parking lot systems
Parking management solutions are vital to keeping your premises secure, and card-based entry systems are very popular. RFID key card and fob readers for parking lots are often less expensive up front, and are simple to use, so they require little training. Scanning a key card at the gate security system takes only a few seconds, so for parking lots with heavy traffic, this is a good way to prevent traffic jams at the parking lot entry and exit control systems.
There are some disadvantages to a key card gate control system. This type of parking lot system can be expensive and time-consuming to manage. Every user needs their own physical key card credential. Issuing and managing parking access control key cards can be time consuming and cumbersome, especially for larger organizations. Even worse, because criminals can copy key cards and employees often share key cards with each other, these gate security systems are not always the safest.
Mobile parking lot entry and exit control systems
Instead of a key card or fob, newer parking access control systems use mobile or smartphone-based credentials. With a mobile system, people have one less thing to carry around; their smartphone gets them in. The added benefit of a mobile access control system is that you can use the same credential across every entry: doors, parking lots, turnstiles, and elevators.
Many mobile-based parking access systems are also touchless. Rather than having to enter a PIN on a common reader, or touch a button to activate the gate, Openpath’s mobile parking access control system uses contactless Wave to Unlock. This unique feature lets users leave their phone in the pocket or bag, and simply wave their hand at the parking lot reader to unlock the gate security system. It’s much more convenient, and adds peace of mind.
Cloud-based parking management technology
For the best security, parking lot entry and exit control systems should give managers real-time access to parking access control data from anywhere. That’s where the cloud comes in. Cloud-based vehicle access control management systems track entries and exits as they occur, with detailed activity logs for better auditing and reporting.
Cloud-based parking management technology also increases flexibility and efficiency. Property managers have the ability to add or revoke user access to the gate security system instantly, and adjust access permissions for parking control systems on the fly. This is especially helpful for organizations with multiple sites, to give employees the access they need if they travel between locations. Cloud-based software is also easier to integrate with other parking management and building systems. Fully integrated systems offer a more complete view of access, security, and usage across the entire organization, influencing important decisions for streamlining operations.
License plate recognition cameras
One of the most-wanted technology components for parking lot access control is license plate recognition (LPR). Parking control systems with LPR cameras installed allow you to automate entry for registered vehicles only. License plate recognition integrated with parking access control systems can also be used as a form of multi-factor authentication, without inconveniencing drivers. Many commercial lots and retail parking garage access control systems now use LPR to track entry and exit time, which is especially useful for determining payments and individual usage.
Occupancy tracking and management
Parking lot gate control systems can also be used to limit the number of vehicles that can access the lot. Whether for social distancing, or for general crowd control, property managers can track and count vehicles as they enter and exit in real time, and set limits for the gate security system. Occupancy data is useful for tracking and managing parking capacity, and noticing trends in usage to inform better parking access control management processes in the future.