Sunday , 22 October 2017

Smart Parking Solutions

There is tremendous scope for low cost, welldesigned solutions

Prasant Chandrasekaran
Co-Founder and
Director of ValetEZ

When anyone thinks of parking, three broad issues arise: not knowing where parking is available at the destination, no assurance that they will get parking when they reach there, and non-availability of parking spaces close to their destination. In the absence of a readily available solution, most of us keep circling around looking for a space to park, adding to the already high congestion on our streets. Further, the pervasive illegal parking that is common on our streets and even sidewalks just further adds to the congestion. This is borne out by a well-known IBM study which estimates that 30% of all congestion is caused due to drivers searching for parking spaces.

Our startup was launched with on-ground operations in early 2016. Launching any startup is a challenge and parking has always been unorganised and an after-thought in the urban infrastructure. There has been a steep learning curve in understanding the underlying challenges in digitisation, the problems faced by both customers and our partners such as restaurants, retailers and parking space owners. Designing a solution and developing a technology platform that serves their different needs require us to learn every day and that is what we have focused on.

The start-up provides two broad technology solutions – our main platform is a smart parking management solution called ParkEZ which can be used to manage different types of parking lots. ParkEZ is built on mobile and cloud and connects to different types of hardware and sensors as is required in a specific parking lot. It provides all the basic tools for a parking lot operator to manage his parking space including billings, space utilisation and the analytics that would help him manage his operations better.

In addition, our company provides a valet management system that allows valet agencies to manage their valet operations more efficiently, be it when catering to their regular customers such as restaurants and hotels, or at events. All of this connects to a mobile app that vehicle owners can use to locate and know of parking space availability wherever they go. They can even make advance bookings if they want to.

Our company also runs its own valet and parking management operations for customers, leveraging the technology that we have built. Working with customers, we are able to constantly improve our technology solutions and make them available to a much wider set of parking lot operators.

ParkEZ’s parking tech platform is built on mobile and cloud which makes it highly scalable and easy to use. In addition, we can integrate the platform with different types of hardware including Bluetooth printers, RFID based trans-receivers, security barriers and different types of sensors.

We would certainly look to operate beyond Karnataka which is where we are currently based and already have a few projects lined up elsewhere. Parking as an industry is highly unorganised with very little technology input to address the wider problem beyond just malls and a few large commercial properties. There is tremendous scope for a low cost, well-designed solution that can bring a high level of digitisation to the parking sector and serve needs not just across India but in several other markets which have similar urban characteristics.

Our buyer is anyone who is managing a parking lot – be it for captive use or for commercial use as a pay and park. Our systems are well tested and used by large commercial buildings, malls, hospitals and other large users, and would be suitable for similar buyers anywhere in the country.

TrafficInfraTech and ParkingInfraTech Expos are good platforms to meet potential customers and partners, and also share knowledge and insights on the latest developments in the industry, be it in the area of technology, regulation, or changing customer needs. We are looking forward to meeting potential customers and partners as well as interacting with stakeholders from different Government bodies to understand how they are looking to leverage emerging technologies to address their challenges with parking infrastructure in their cities.