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The more standardized, the better: Indoor parking maps for seamless arrival and departure

21. June 2022

When we talk about maps and navigation, most people probably first think of road maps, highways, or traffic jam reports. These have become a common part of our everyday lives, however, they typically only bring us as far as the curbside near our final destination. Finding a parking space or getting seamless guidance to an off-street location e.g. inside a building, remains a frequent problem. Estimates suggest that as much as a third of traffic in city center areas is caused by drivers searching for parking. An increasing number of those drivers are searching for specific types of parking spaces, such as those with electric charging facilities. To address some of these challenges, efforts are underway to extend maps to off-street locations such as parking garages. The goal is to offer drivers more granular information that is contextually relevant as they approach their destination, to help them answer questions such as: Where can I find an available parking space right now? Where is the nearest available electric vehicle charging station for my new e-car? Which side of the parking garage should I park at to minimize my subsequent walk to a given store?

The NDS Association always has its finger on the pulse of the times – whether it’s autonomous driving, connected driving or even the growing importance of parking maps. The NDS specification addresses all players involved in vehicle navigation, ADAS and automated driving systems. At the same time, it addresses developers of mobile companion apps, cloud solutions for connected vehicles and solutions for autonomous driving. The NDS standard evolves with market needs and indoor parking maps are on many agendas in this regard.

Since parking – outdoor and indoor – is mapped by more and more in-vehicle solutions, a uniform and reliable data standard is advisable.

Source: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/miniatur-modell-parkhaus-parken-4308110/

What indoor parking maps can look like in real life, is shown already today by NDS member HERE Technologies. We talked to Joseph Leigh, Head of Product Management for HERE Indoor maps at HERE Technologies. He shared that the location data and technology platform company has partnered with parking operators including APCOA and Propark Mobility to add more than 500 parking garages to its map offerings.

The indoor parking maps include key elements of parking garages, such as individual spaces, lanes, ramps, and pedestrian walkways, Joe Leigh explains. Added to this is an integrated routing graph for vehicles and pedestrians, with parking garage entrances and exits seamlessly linked to the outdoor street map. This enables end-to-end routing that goes beyond the curbside, extending through to individual parking spaces inside parking garages, and on to the driver’s destination. Indoor parking maps also open up opportunities for new services that offer unprecedented convenience such as Automated Valet Parking (AVP), says Leigh.

The goal is about much more than getting to the next available parking space. Joe Leigh says that HERE is extending their maps into shopping centers, airports and train stations, with the goal of one day offering guidance that even continues onto the correct platform within a station and the right section of the platform for a specific reserved seat on the train. At the destination building, guidance will then be able to continue to individual rooms, such as a specific meeting room, deep inside the building.

The NDS members are joining forces to build upon these advancements, towards a future where intermodal arrival and departure can truly be seamless. The NDS Automated Valet Parking task force is meeting to define the specifics of the NDS data format specification to enable vehicles to park themselves by providing a data standard that allows map data vendors but also parking garage operators to publish data using the auto industry map data standard NDS.

New indoor parking solutions provide contextual guidance that extends to individual parking spaces in parking garages.

Source: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/leuchttafel-parkhäuser-721515/

The greater the standardization and development of new mapping capabilities such as those of indoor parking maps, the easier it will be to mix and match sources of information, enabling a flexible content stack that can be leveraged to meet the individual needs of automotive companies, parking operators and mobility service providers. Additionally, NDS provides the assurance that solutions implemented will not suddenly stop working because one individual company decided to change its format.

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