Smart Cities

Where Will the Future of Mobility Take Us?

The way we travel from A to B is evolving and Spot Parking is a part of this change. The future of mobility is not focused on the cars on our roads, it is about data and how well the different sectors can manage it within a mobility ecosystem. The future will rely on “Mobility as a Service” also known as MaaS as a mobility solution; Spot’s data serves as a foundation layer for such mobility services and innovation.

There is a future world that involves less car crashes, traffic jams and time spent away from what is at the end of point B, whether it be work, home or leisure. The emergence of electric cars, autonomous vehicles and the continual growth of car and ride sharing will play a large role in how we move towards this future. However, a lot still needs to happen for us to get there.

Mobility Right Now

Currently, mobility solutions are being approached in a siloed manner. To use different mobility platforms like the train, an O-Bike or Uber involves you having to create a unique user profile and use a different app to complete each mobility experience. Moreover, they do not communicate with each other. This is called a closed ecosystem and it is stopping users from having a better, more seamless experience across multiple channels and devices.

The Future is Coming

The Australian government is changing the way they see and respond to the transport ecosystem. They are having a more data-focused, agile and user focused approach to take advantage of the capabilities that will prepare Australia for the future of mobility. The future of mobility involves city planners working with the private sector to operate and maintain critical mobility infrastructure that enables an open ecosystem. This is where Spot gets involved.

An open ecosystem allows for a system that can offer more flexible products, services and thus experiences for the user. In relation to mobility, users can have access to every mobility option from one point and enjoy an integrated end-to-end service across different mobility options.

The Global Database for Smart City Mobility

Spot provides powerful, real time information to both the public and private sector to help orchestrate seamless customer and user experiences. With the future of mobility being a part of the sharing economy, Spot’s platform encourages data exchange to support customer mobility ecosystems.

Visit our Sydney Parking Finder to see how our data will play a role in the way we move around our smart cities:

Lessons from Las Vegas - 5 Key trends in smart parking

A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to attend the International Parking Institute’s conference in Las Vegas. There is a lot of talk around smart cities at the moment, and smart parking should be front and centre. Here are the 5 key trends I observed from around the world.

1.    Big Data

The integration of intelligent transport solutions, geospatial and parking data from sensors, meters and cameras helps predict demand and helps improve commercial opportunities as well as improve a city’s management.

In one example an Authority mapped parking and travel patterns to time of day and weather data. This allowed for dynamic pricing. E.g. sunny Friday’s showed excess capacity and an opportunity to lower prices to encourage demand. Another example mapped demographic and survey data to parking data, and found a mix of theatre goers and baseball fans simultaneously using a parking facility. The car park offered theatre patrons premium spaces for $20, whilst the fans parked further away for $5.

2.    Mobile

Mobile cashless parking is a very fast growing category and is transcending the dated SMS and IVR phone solutions in favour of GPS/Cloud based solutions such as SPOT. The jury is out on using apps to discover spaces, as many of the authorities were cautious to encourage mobile phone use whilst driving. Integration with smart vehicle navigation systems such as BMW was also showcased.

3.    Intelligent Transport Solutions (ITS) & Smart parking integration

It was often lamented that in many cities, the management of the roads and the management of parking is managed by separate and silo-ed entities. As we move to more ITS implementations such as driverless vehicles, connected vehicles, automatic number plate recognition and intelligent traffic signals, we can extend the prediction and risk management of traffic to the parking availability and access. After all, the transport journey doesn’t end until you’ve parked.

4.    Green/ Community

Sustainable solutions from everything like the construction materials of carparks, to better navigation thus burning less fuel while looking for parking was a growing market. In line with the growth of mobile solutions, the requirement for environmentally unfriendly meters, machines and paper tickets is reducing. Community access to a city car park for events was also trending, for instance a community fete in a car park that is disused on weekends or after hours.

5.    Social applications for wayfinding/collaborative consumption

Everything from apps that let you warn others in your area when a parking inspector is approaching, to “Airbnb” type schemes where you can rent out your parking space, the share economy has come to parking. Apps like Waze, where simply by having it on whilst you drive contributes to real time traffic data for everyone set the tone for a share economy based on minimising dwell time to commute and park.

Elizabeth Zealand is the CEO of Spot Parking

Spot Applauds an Open Approach

Congratulations Ben Rimmer on the appointment of a Chief Digital Officer, Michelle Fitzgerald.

As a recent survey by SAP has shown, the satisfaction with the digital experience in Australia needs improving across a wide range of industries.  By having an experienced CDO to look beyond just technological innovation and to the customer experience, including opening the access to data, paints a bright future for a Smart City.