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Truck drivers face the problem of a lack of parking spaces every day. New facilities are being built too slowly, there is still a shortage of places and the number of trucks on the roads is increasing. Germany is testing a solution that makes better use of existing parking spaces.

In addition to the expansion of existing parking lots and the construction of new facilities, short-term solutions are needed to provide parking spaces for trucks. Finding a parking space for a truck in Germany, Europe’s largest transit country, is sometimes close to impossible. Therefore, in order to comply with rest regulations, drivers are sometimes forced to park their trucks at the entrances or exits of parking lots, on the parking lots belonging to supermarkets, or in other prohibited places where they may pose a threat to other traffic users.

For this reason, Germany is looking for solutions to address this problem. One of them is a system for column parking, which has been tested for a year on the German A93 at the Inntal West parking lot just off the Austrian border. The pilot tests will run until the end of 2020, and based on their results will depend on whether the solution is to be implemented nationwide.

As Hans Reichhart, Bavarian Transport Minister, announced, the new parking system was well received by truck drivers. Its use allows increasing the capacity of the parking lot by half. 

How the system works

The truck must stop before the barrier and its driver must enter the time of departure from the parking lot into the system. In this way, the system determines whether the truck can be parked behind another vehicle or in front. 

At the same time, the truck is automatically measured using a laser scanner. Based on the length of the vehicle and the time of departure, the truck is directed to the right place.

Before entering, the driver must print out the parking ticket and the barrier opens. The screens above the parking spaces show the column number and the driver’s area is marked with a green arrow. The truck should park in its place without leaving any distance from other vehicles. The remaining free space is constantly measured by the laser scanner so that the system has up-to-date information about available places where it can guide further vehicles. Everything is done automatically and, importantly, is absolutely free. 

On the West Inntal parking lot website, you can check the currently available parking spaces.

Column parking is not the only idea of the Germans to optimize the parking infrastructure in the country. In October this year at the NUFAM 2019 Commercial Vehicle Fair, Abona presented its concept for a two-storey Truck Tower parking lot:

Photo: Trans.INFO

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