Given that so many of today’s car parking facilities run without any sort of barrier, it is perfectly reasonable to pose the question of whether these devices are needed at all anymore. Although pay and display technologies have developed greatly over the last few years, automatic car park barriers still have their place.
This is because other parking payment systems can be required when pay and display is not an appropriate method. Additionally, automatic car park barriers provide functions which barrier-less approaches do not. Read on to discover more about the most up-to-date automated barriers and how they can help provide a complete parking solution that is both safe and reliable.
The Versatility of Automated Barriers
It is worth noting the central feature of an automatic parking barrier from the outset: it makes vehicles stop. This simple idea can be of huge benefit to anyone that runs or owns a car park. Firstly, it forces motorists to slow down and engage with the parking facility which is frequently an entirely different driving proposition than the open road.
They can be used either on entry or on exit in order to make the transition from road to car park – or vice-versa – more obvious. Indeed, they can be used within car parks, for example, to restrict access to certain floors or to slow traffic at ‘pinch points’ such as inter-level junctions.
Automated barriers are now highly sensitive to the arrival of a vehicle and will detect the presence of a car rapidly by a number of means. They can be used simply to slow a driver or to verify that payment for parking has been made if wanted. License plate recognition (LPR) camera control is commonplace to assist with verification these days.
Where pre-paid parking might be in operation – for instance, in a shared corporate car park setting – radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies can be incorporated into the systems which mean drivers simply need to carry an approved card to pass through.
Automated barriers are ideal for multi-storey car parks where traffic flows need to be regulated to prevent queues. They are also great where pay and display parking is not appropriate, such as a corporate headquarters where parking is free for employees but where the general public has no right to park. Perfect where security considerations are important, they are also suited to places where access must be controlled to prevent unwarranted access.
Technologies Used in Modern Automatic Car Park Barriers
As mentioned, both LPR cameras and RFID devices are used in contemporary automatic barriers. When considering installing them, it is also worthwhile taking into account their other technological advancements. For example, modern barriers now are often installed with a heating control system, run with a thermostat, which means that they continue working in ice and snow. For applications where cameras and RFID may not be appropriate, sensitive heat detection systems can be fitted which work on infrared sensing principles.
All hi-tech equipment needs to talk to other devices these days and automated barriers are no exception. They are frequently fitted with serial ports which allow data to be downloaded or new software to be uploaded. This means that opening and closing rates can be finely controlled by operators if wanted, for isntance.
Finally, user operation is helped by barriers in a number of ways. They can have bent arms in low-ceiling environments, for instance, and can be purchased in left-hand and right-hand versions. Furthermore, things like light emitting diodes can be fitted as stripes under a barrier’s arm to help drivers to spot them in dark conditions and, therefore, to prevent accidental damage.