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Smart Cities, Autonomous Cars and Parking Today

We pull together the editorial for PT a month before the date on the cover. So I am working on April. I get stories from my usual sources ( our columnists, and unsolicited “over the transom” plus the odd request from me.) PIE has been a slight distraction, so there have been few “requests” for April. Astrid and I have been talking about doing more with transportation and ‘smart cities’ but I haven’t really done much soliciting of articles except for turning her loose on a first article. (Smart Cities and LAX).

Then I noticed a trend in the articles I was editing and formatting for April. Kathleen wrote on Social Media and Smart Cities. Melissa pondered on just how Smart a city was that ticketed homeless. Wes Guckert sent in a well thought out article on autonomous vehicles, and Suzannah at Spot Hero has a great infographic on the affect of ride sharing on Parking. Gorm Tuxen supplied a super article on smart city technology and sensor technology.

What’s that, half of our articles for April deal with Smart Cities or Transportation. And we didn’t plan it, it just happened.

Folks who think about these things, are thinking about Smart Cities. But when I read through the articles, half of them approached it from the point of view of making your city smarter without using technology, but rethinking how to approach the city’s problems. Astrid mused on how to cut down the congestion at the airport, Melissa had a great idea on how to solve the ticketing of the homeless problem, and Kathleen pointed out how cities could use existing social media to determine what’s going on in their neighborhoods.

When I read articles sourced from the major “Smart City” suppliers (Siemens, Conduent, Google, IBM and the rest) the solutions are all Technology Based. Fair enough. But the wisdom shown by our three columnists in April brought me up short.

Sure, go ahead and investigate technology, but also just look at what is happening and ways to fix it now, without major outlays of funding. Governments like to throw money at a problem, but sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

Read all about it in the April edition of PT, in your mail box in about a month.


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10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5…Counting Down to PIE 2017

4…and four great Keynote presentations — Barter (2), Goulston, and Houlihan

3...Three days of world class seminars — With Technology Featured on Wednesday.

2…Two Unbelievable Networking Events — Speed Networking and our Roaring 20’s Party on Monday.

1…Liftoff with first class Abfab presentations on Sunday — Wilson and Bootcamp, Houlihan’s keynote and “You can sell more wearing a funny hat” and Wunk and Technology Camp.

Eric tells me that last minute registrations are breaking records.  Over 50 registered on Monday, and he expects more than 100 more to register by Saturday. Thanks to you all for your support.  We are well ahead of registrations as of this date compared with 2016 and 2015. The last time we were in Chicago (2015) we had 300 walk up registrations. WOW!

Our Exhibition Hall is full, exhibits are being received in the staging areas, Eric is already on site directing the set up, excitement is building throughout the industry. I had 200 emails in my inbox this morning talking about PIE. This will certainly be the Premiere Parking Event of 2017, in more ways than one.

Marcy, Astrid, Kelley, Sue, Francine, Joyce, Robyn and me will be arriving on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We will be in the exhibition and registration area. Come by and let us know you are there. Registration will open at 7:30 on Sunday AM. Coffee is on us.

Register now or Register on site.

See you there.



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PIE 2017 Our “Last Day” is the BEST!!!

The “last day” at trade shows is always terrible. Most people have gone, the exhibitors are standing around talking to each other, some have actually closed their booths and left. The “Last Day” is horrible.

We have tried to give the “Last Day” at PIE 21017 reasons to stay. The exhibit hall is closed, but some of the best seminars are being held. The “Last Day” is an opportunity to hear speakers that make a difference in your business lives. to wit:

  • Social Media and Parking — Kathleen Laney and Bob Harkins talk about social media and how it has changed how we do business and react to many situations.
  • Enforcement and Permit Districts — Julie Dixon always delivers and this seminar will tell you what you need to know.
  • The Golden Age of Parking –– Welcome to the IoT. Sergio Mastronardi or gtechna and Philip Savior , Technology Officer of the Public Parking Authority of Pittsburgh. Who better to talk about the “Internet of Things.”
  • On Street Technology — Julie Dixon and Patrick Smith talk about what they know best.
  • Searching for Employees — Colleen Niese, CEO of Women in Parking, covers ways to hire the right person, particularly in this world of high tech and the IoT.
  • Clyde Wilson talks about Revenue Control Technology — This consultant and former operator has forgotten more about technology than most of us know.
  • Parking Apps and Connected Cars — Alex Israel and Eugene Tsyrklevich hold for on just what we will be using in 1, 2, or is it 5 years.
  • Do I have to be a Computer Expert or Hire one? — Tom Wunk calls on decades of experience working with technology to answer this question.
  • Parking Management Opens Wider Opportunities — Paul Barter finishes his Keynote address, started Monday, discussing parking in the light of other parking goals in a city, university, or organization.

Nine great reasons not to leave PIE Tuesday evening. Just because these speakers are on the last day doesn’t meant they aren’t headliners. Dixon, Harkins, Mastronardi, Tsyrklevich, Laney, Niese, Wilson, Israel, Wunk, and Barter. These names begin to define our industry. Don’t miss them

Register for PIE here.


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I Hate Politics HATE HATE HATE

I know, hate is a strong word, but I HATE politics. All politics — right, left, center, local, statewide, national, international, European, Canadian, Mexican, the concerns about the Neutral Zone and the Klingons. I hate it all.

Everything is politicized.  I can’t buy a vegetable without feeling guilty that its not organic. My car is polluting the air, there’s not enough rain, there is too much rain, you can’t get facts about anything since there is always a ‘spin.’ The Globe is warming, its cooling, no matter what its caused by the sun, moon, people, oceans, clouds, yikes.

My friend down the street produces the “Avenger” and “Guardian of the Galaxy” movies for Disney. One of her stars said publicly that maybe actors shouldn’t wear their politics on their sleeves since not everyone will agree with them, and maybe not go to their movies. I told my friend that this one ‘gets it,’ and she  deserves a raise. My friend said yes, and so many don’t get it.

She told me that her movies are financially the most successful in Hollywood (by orders of magnitude, grossing literally billions of dollars) because they tell simple stories, there are good guys and bad guys, there is no deep political meaning, and they don’t take themselves too seriously. And guess what, people love them.

Politics has become so viscous that it is separating mothers from daughters, husbands from wives. Lifelong friends cross the street when they see the other coming. What is it when you can’t advertise for a roommate without asking their political affiliation? I mean really.

I refuse to watch any live television. I glance at the front page of the paper (to be sure we haven’t been invaded) then read the funnies. But I can’t read all of them because half of the cartoons are politicized. Don’t even talk about the Oscars.

Its getting so that if I see a story in the paper, and it has any political spin at all, I believe exactly the opposite. It doesn’t matter which side. They are all so twisted there is no way of sussing out the truth. So I just give up.

Psychologists are telling us that their patients are so taken with politics that they are deep in some sort of psychosis, and that the doctors are confused as to how to help them. What the hell is that all about. This is politics, for goodness sake, not whether your mother loved you.

So I have given up politics for Lent. No news, no internet, no discussions, none nada. The depression I have been feeling has lifted. The world looks better. If someone mentions anything political I smile nicely and walk away.  If somehow my laptop locks on to a political blog, I look away.  After dinner, if I want to watch TV, its a couple of reruns of MASH and an NCIS, Bull, or Bones. Then I read mysteries set in 19th century England.

You know, I’ll bet that in a few years the sun will still rise in the East and set in the West. We will still be a free country. Food will still be on the table. Hopefully the streets will be swept and the trash picked up. People will still park their cars.  Music will sooth the savage breast.  (Yes it’s ‘savage breast’ look it up.) Life will go on.

And all will be right with the world.


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PIE 2017 to Break All Attendance Records

The Parking Industry Exhibition starting Sunday will break all attendance records.  As of this moment we are trending ahead of our registration count for this date in 2016. What makes this so significant is that at the Las Vegas Event in 2016, we had virtually no walk in traffic.  People don’t tend to make last minute plans to attend an event in Sin City.

However, over the past years in Chicago, 15% of our attendance has been ‘walk in ‘ registration.  Therefore 2017 promises to be the best attended PIE ever. Exhibitors will find their booths flooded with potential buyers and seminars will be jammed with expectant attendees.

The event opens with boot camp, and technology camp on Sunday, March 5 plus the first of three Keynote Speakers, Michael Houlihan, founder of Barefoot Wineries. His presentation, “You can sell more wearing a funny hat” has been regaled by fortune 500 companies world wide.  The first 100 through the doors at Michael’s presentation will receive a free copy of his bestseller, the Barefoot Spirit.

Monday brings the second keynote, Paul Barter, with the first of his two presentations, On Street Parking Management: Confront Key Choices. The day continues with an intermodal theme with titles like Parking and Transportation, The future of Parking, Big Data and small cities, Parking Guidance, Funding in a volatile economy.  The working day ends with PIE’s famous Speed Networking. The evening brings a “Roaring 20’s Dance Party with live music, libation, Craps Tables, and perhaps a ‘raid’ by the Feds.

Tuesday begins with Dr Mark Goulston’s keynote channeling Steve Jobs and his formula for success at Apple: Whoa, WOW, Hmmmm, Yes AKA How to create Gotta Have it. The first 100 through the door receive Mark’s best selling book, Talking to Crazy.  Parking seminars continue with Big info From Little Data, Market Launch conundrum for Autonomous Vehicles, Its not your Fathers campus anymore, or your mother’s either. Convert to Pay Parking, Do you still need an outside auditor, Software Security, Providing real time parking info to your Shopping Center Customers, Dynamic Pricing and Robots.

On Wednesday Paul Barter completes his Keynote with “Open Wider Opportunities. Parking Industry Exhibition winds up with Do I have to be a computer expert, or hire one, Parking apps and connected cars, Revenue Control Technology, Lighting, Serching for IT employees, ON street Technology, Welcome to the world of IoT, Enforcement and permit districts, and Social Media and Parking.

PIE 2017 promises to be fun, informative, and exciting. See you in Chicago — To Register log on to pieshow.parkingtoday.com


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Baby Named for Parking Lot

Babies don’t agree to stick to any kind of schedule – before (or after) they’re born, so a good number of them seem to make their arrivals in odd places. One common theme for the unexpected delivery is the parking lot. Hospital parking lots get a lot of surprise birth moments as parents do their best to be in the right place at the right time, but fall just a little short. A baby in Jacksonville Beach, Florida recently made his entry in the parking lot of the local hospital, reports abcnews.go.com.

The infant’s parents intended for him to be born in the hospital and had almost made it when it became obvious there was not enough time to get in the doors. Dad played the part of catcher. It all turned out to be a happy experience because the baby arrived healthy and strong and the birth photographer had the wherewithal to do her job despite the quick change of location.

Noah and Lauren Strunk hired Stephanie Knowles to document their son’s delivery and  she was following them to the hospital the night of the birth. When it became clear that he baby was going to be born in the parking lot she wasn’t sure if she should run for boiling water or snap photos. She went ahead and took pictures.

“It went through my head if I should put my camera down and help and then I said, ‘I’m just going to stand back,'” Knowles said. “That was my goal even before, just to stand back and capture the moments, so I just started shooting.”

All is well and baby, who joins 3-year old brother Harrison, has a great birth story he can talk about for the rest of his life – with pictures to prove it. His parents named him for his father and the spot where he was born: Noah Parker van Rhyn Strunk.

See the photos here.

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Someone Agrees, I think

Correspondent Mark send in these comments on the post below re Autonomous Cars. I thought it was important and deserved to be given the light of day:

If  we use the 53,000 number, if we base it on worldwide cars sales for 2016 of between 77 and 88 million ( the statistics vary) then we’re looking at anywhere from 6/100 to 7/100 of 1 % of the worldwide market for the fully autonomous vehicles.  The partially-autonomous    would represent approximately .06% – 1% of the same worldwide market if we assume the $40 billion represents cars that cost 50%-60% of the fully autonomous vehicles.  There will almost certainly be markets where the numbers are significantly higher, and others where they will be on-existent.

Personally I see companies like Amazon, telecommuting, on-line banking and other financial services, home streaming of movies, virtual almost everything and the new/emerging home medical testing business as having a bigger impact on driving and parking over the next 10-15 years.  But that’s just an opinion, and by no means one that I would place any substantial wager on.  Too much is changing too fast to predict what might happen next year, let alone 10 years from now.

The last graph makes sense. Traffic is reduced by technology that allows us to do so many things from our desk at home.  He says its just his opinion, but I think it deserves attention.  The autonomous car market will be an insignificant slice of the overall car market, but the ability of a homemaker to do practically everything without leaving the house it would seem would make a much larger difference to our parking market.

Its changing very quickly. Ignore it at your peril.


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Autonomous Car — $6 billion market in eight years. Do you believe it. PIE 2017 will give you the answer.

I have received this from my friends at Land Rover. The Brits are very optimistic.  Perhaps more than moi.

Everybody in this world knows what Autonomous Cars are, but for those who don’t here’s the short meaning. Autonomous Car is basically a driverless vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and analysing between different cars and obstacles before reaching its predicted destination without human control. It’s very important to understand the concept of partial and fully Autonomous Vehicles, as the projected size of this Global Autonomous Market by 2025 will be at the peak height. I.e. in 2025 the Market Rate of partially autonomous vehicles will be around $40 Billion and of fully autonomous vehicle it will be around $6 Billion.

Learn everything about Autonomous Cars and its Growth on an imaging infographic created by Get off Road. This infographic explores every single elements of Autonomous Cars, from its history, its engineering, the design of the cars, its manufacturing and testing, what are the future holds for the autonomous car market, which car brands have driving patents for autonomous vehicles and everything else. Understand, the science behind its wheels and how “Sebastian Thrun” and “Anthony Levandowski” created the PRIBOT who went to fetch pizza on its own on its first test. “THE GROWTH OF AUTONOMOUS CAR MARKET” is the detailed presented article to educate you with everything you need to know. Have a look.

Click here

Yes, I know, I published the graphic last week, but I thought the copy above was worth a rehash.

What do you think? Assuming the cars cost $75K each, (probably low) that means by 2025 they will be selling about 53,000 cars that year. If they cost $100K, 40,000.

My friend Dale Denda will give you his learned prediction on the Autonomous Car Market at PIE 2017 Week after next. He doesn’t just pull numbers out of the air, he actually researches it. Get the facts. 

As usual PIE and Parking Today Media are on the cutting edge of industry knowledge.


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100 Pages of Parking Today

Wow!  I just received my personal copy of my favorite magazine and was shocked SHOCKED at the weight of the journal.  PT February contains 100, count em 100 Pages.

This book is all about the Parking Industry Exhibition:

Those three fine looking chaps on the cover are our keynote speakers, Paul Barter, Michael Houlihan and Mark Goulston. Inside you will find stories about PIE, of course, our regular columnists, and the complete PIE 2017 program.

I assume you have already registered for the event, so this will be a great preview of what is to come. If you haven’t, shame on you. You can redeem yourself by clicking here.

The hotel is filling fast — contact us if you can’t get a room, there are first class accommodations across the street. Above everything else, PIE is about convenience. No half hour hikes to the exhibit hall, no humid weather (it will be cool and crisp), and most of all, you will be hosted by the Parking Today Media team headed by Eric Abel.

See you in Chicago in less than two weeks.


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Killing them With Kindness

Los Angeles city leaders have voted to pass a resolution called the Community Assistance Parking Program to help the homeless pay off their parking fines, reports laweekly.com. The program allows people who are homeless, but who live in their cars, to perform community service when their cars/homes are ticketed.

The reason these homeless people need a program to help them pay off their tickets is that if they get too many tickets, their cars/homes are towed and then they have to move into the nearest alley. Nobody wants that.

Yesterday’s unanimous council vote means that the department can establish the Community Assistance Parking Program, which will allow homeless folks with as many as 10 citations in a single year (worth up to $1,500) to work off the fines by doing community service.

It’s a generous offer to a group of people who couldn’t pay their fines anyway, seeing as how they can’t afford actual housing, and I say that with 100 pounds of sarcasm.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin created the program, and he probably thinks he’s done a great thing helping the homeless maintain access to the cars they live in. And it does seem like a good approach because even though they are homeless, these individuals shouldn’t also be carless. If they can keep their cars, they can be homeless without living on the streets.

I’m just wondering if that’s the best that can be done.

Read the article here.

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