By Mark Lawrence, SpotHero CEO, and Juan Rodriguez, FlashParking CEO
With a focus on bringing new vehicles and transportation services to today’s streets — from connected cars to scooters to rideshare — the transportation industry has historically overlooked an element of the mobility ecosystem that we hold near and dear to our hearts: parking.
Fortunately, major mobility players are starting to consider parking as an essential part of the equation. To be the solution we all need, however, will require parking operators to digitize their inventory and streamline the entry, exit, and payments process. As SpotHero and FlashParking work together to address these needs, we’re helping the parking industry not just stay relevant, but become the solution to the largest and most persistent challenge facing mobility today: congestion.
Regardless of what method people use to get around, vehicles of all kinds need places to park. Searching for parking, and the tedious process that comes once you find it, is keeping more drivers on the roads for longer. Parking operators can solve for this issue, as long as they have the right technology, processes, and partners in place.
SpotHero and FlashParking have a long history of working closely with operators to bring garages online, streamline operations, and maximize the number of drivers coming through their doors. So it’s funny, rather than viewing the flurry of new transportation options as reasons to worry about the future of parking garages, we see the exact opposite. This pivotal moment in the transportation industry is a huge opportunity for parking operators to become the solution to today’s congested streets.
To that end, we’ve already started helping operators manage this new responsibility. This past fall, SpotHero and FlashParking launched a pilot program to bring Bluetooth-enabled one-tap redemption technology to Austin, TX—eliminating the need for drivers to roll down their car windows to redeem their parking reservation before entering the garage. Instead, customers can simply tap a button in the SpotHero app to lift the gate. By working alongside operators in one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, we made it easier to get more cars off the streets and into parking spots.
The Austin one-tap redemption program was just the first step for us. We are continuing to reimagine how PARCS technology, in-car operating systems, consumer apps, and a range of emerging technologies can all work together to deliver an elevated driver experience that makes parking easier and the process of doing it more seamless.
As we congregate with fellow industry leaders at the annual PIE conference next week, we’re filled with excitement for the growing role parking plays in the mobility ecosystem. Regardless of what curveballs are thrown our way, there’s one thing for certain: the need for parking isn’t going anywhere. From our point of view, parking’s critical role in the future of mobility isn’t a question–it’s a fact. Only together can we use our technology, parking inventory, and savvy to make streets less congested and cities more accessible.