Next to traffic congestion, the lack of available parking buildings or spaces might be the most dreadful aspect of driving in Metro Manila. Many times, after an already long and grueling time on the road, you roll up into a parking building only to encounter even more inconveniences to deal with.
This is the problem that SM wants to address with one of its latest and greatest innovations: the country's first SMart Parking System. Installed in parking floors 2 to 6 of the National University MOA (right beside S'Maison at Conrad Manila), SMart Parking uses "car recognition software" and an advanced "find-my-car system" that rids the parking experience of many inconveniences. Here are its features:
Car recognition software
The entry and exit points of the SMart Parking are equipped with smart cameras that can recognize license plates, automatically opening for guests whose plate numbers are listed in the system. This means that effectively, VIPs who reserve a slot can come and go without so much as having to press a button. SM foresees more than a few opportunities for this to help its customers: Imagine having a ticket to a basketball game at the Mall of Asia Arena that comes with an automatic parking space. You'll have time to grab some popcorn before the start of the first quarter.
CCTV cameras installed for all parking slots
The building has an incredibly sophisticated way to monitor your car while it's parked. Each slot is monitored by a camera that can tell with 99% accuracy whether it is occupied or not. This means super-accurate, real-time tracking of parking availability. These cameras are also sensitive to movement, which would come in handy in case a fellow parker scratches or dents your car and decides to bolt.
"Find My Car" service
The CCTV cameras, used in tandem with the intelligent car recognition software, allow forgetful motorists to easily find their cars. Did you just come out of a two-hour movie that blew your mind so wide open that you can't remember where you parked? Just ask a concierge for help and the software will find your car in an instant.
But not all its innovations and conveniences are so high-tech. The SMart Parking System also has a personal concierge service that assists parkers with things like tire and battery failures, auto mechanical and electrical services, locksmith services, car cleaning, towing services, police assistance, and ambulance services. Ask the concierge for help and you'll get it.
This project is a collaboration between SM and the National University. Together, the developer and the school tapped TMA Technologies, an Australian solutions provider, to upgrade the way we park. TMA Tech has installed these technologies in parking spaces elsewhere in the world: Malaysia, Spain, France, South America, and Australia. For the first time ever, thanks to SM, the Philippines is getting in on it, too.
If you'd like to see it for yourself, the SMart Parking System is installed in the National University MOA Building on Coral Way. The parking building is open daily from 6am, with a fixed rate of P50. The ground floor is also home to a variety of food and lifestyle outlets, including Juice Cubi, Sunny Baker Cafe, Yellow Cab, Krispy Kreme, Jamba Juice, Alfamart, Tim Horton's and Popeye's.
And yet there's a lot to look forward to still. SM has a mobile app in the works—one with a lot of additional features built in, including the ability to make parking-related transactions. They're also looking at digital promos, fun deals, and events that can leverage the cross-promotion features of the SMart Parking System, as well as no-contact payment via debit or credit cards.
If you like what you see, you'd be glad to know that SM hopes to roll this out in other buildings within the Mall of Asia Complex, then in other major SM malls. If this is the future of Metro Manila parking, we'd be a whole step closer to a better metropolis for motorists. Follow SM Supermalls on Facebook for updates and more information.