Automotus 2022 Survey Results: Curbside Parking Still Big Challenge for Delivery Drivers

Ask any rideshare or delivery driver what one of their biggest challenges is when they’re driving, and they will almost always tell you it’s curbside parking.

Two years ago, Automotus took this question one step further and created a survey to find out exactly how hard it is for drivers to find a parking place.

If you do most of your driving in the city, we bet the results won’t surprise you.

With the input and help of the Rideshare Guy along with the 152 drivers who responded, the newest Automotus survey showed that not only is it getting more difficult for drivers to park, but the increase in people relying on e-commerce for same-day delivery has made finding a place to park an adventure that often ends in futility.

Before we get to the survey results, let’s take a look at Automotus to get the background behind the survey.

What is Automotus?

Automotus is an automated curb company that allows cities to deploy sensors to track curb usage and charge vehicles that park and deliver in congested urban neighborhoods.

In addition, these sensors provide law enforcement with real-time data to assist in enforcing curb violations when drivers overstay their time limit or park where they are not authorized.

automotus camera unit
Automotus Camera Unit

The Survey

For the last two years, Automotus has provided a survey to drivers to learn more about the challenges they face on the road.

These surveys were taken by drivers all across the major regions of the United States and included a wide range of representation from drivers who work for companies and platforms like:

  • Lyft
  • DoorDash
  • FedEx
  • Amazon
  • USPS
  • GrubHub
  • Postmates
  • Amazon Flex

Automotus Computer Vision in Action
Automotus Computer Vision in Action

Most Significant Findings From the Survey

1. Drivers waste a significant amount of their time searching for parking.

The survey showed that in 2021:

  • 7.5% of drivers could find a place to park right away compared to 2022, with less than 2% of drivers finding a parking place when they first arrived at the curb.
  • 25% of drivers also reported they often continue repeatedly circling until they can locate a spot.

2. Drivers spend more time searching for parking than they do making their actual pick-up or delivery.

The study showed that, on average, drivers typically park between three to 10 minutes when making a pick-up or delivery, but they often spend more than four minutes searching for a place to park.

Since many food delivery drivers rely on tips as a major part of their pay, the inability to find parking efficiently and deliver hot meals quickly cuts directly into their pay.

And since they lose time making a delivery, it also affects the number of deliveries they can make during a shift.

3. Many drivers admit they often resort to parking in places they shouldn’t or double-park to make the delivery.

This number is up nearly 15% from last year for drivers admitting to parking where they shouldn’t and up 10% for double parking.

Unfortunately, this means drivers are creating a danger to themselves and others, with almost 60% of drivers admitting they have gotten into a traffic accident because they chose an unsafe place to park.

4. Drivers are getting more parking tickets.

When Automotus asked drivers how often they were receiving tickets in 2021, 5% of drivers reported they were getting between 1 to 3 tickets per month. Fast forward to 2022, and that number has increased to 25%.

This is a genuine problem for everyone since it not only creates safety hazards and causes more work for law enforcement personnel, but it also cuts into the amount drivers can make since they have to pay for the tickets they receive while in the process of trying to do their job and make money.

It can also increase pressure on city governments and courts, as some drivers will inevitably not pay or forget to pay for their tickets, which can sometimes lead to court dates, or worse.

5. Drivers who pay for parking are paying more and losing time doing it.

While 50% of drivers paid for parking in 2021, more than 90% of drivers state they always pay for parking now instead of trying to park for free.

Interestingly, the drivers that take a chance and don’t pay reported they found the high cost of parking was a deterrent and the reason they didn’t pay to park.

smart loading zone from automotus in pittsburgh
Smart Loading Zone from Automotus in Pittsburgh

Automotus Survey Summary

When looking at the survey responses from drivers and the changes from 2021 to 2022, it’s clear that finding a place to safely and affordably park is one of the biggest challenges drivers currently face.

This problem cuts into their earning in both pay and time. It also can create an additional expense if they receive a ticket for illegal parking, plus they don’t get the tax deduction drivers can take when they pay to park.

The Automotus Solution

Automotus believes that having a fully automated payment solution in areas with few parking options and high traffic congestion can save drivers valuable time and money by providing short-term affordable curb parking.

Using a tiered rate system, drivers would only get charged for the time they use.

For example, in Pittsburgh, drivers pay seven cents for the first five minutes, and then the rate increases the longer you stay.

The idea is that this would encourage drivers to only use the space for a short period, but provide them with a parking solution that can save valuable time at a very low cost.

Final Thoughts

While we’re not surprised by the results of the latest Automotus survey, we would like to know in future surveys how big of a difference the automated payment solution is making for drivers when it’s available in their service area.

We would also like to know how much money drivers save when using a tiered rate system versus paying for normal parking and/or how much they have saved by not getting a ticket for illegal parking because we bet it’s a lot!

We eagerly await to learn more when Automotus has drivers complete their next survey in 2023.