Short Parking Stories
PTV Group Launches ‘Mobility-as-a -Service’ Accelerator Program
PTV Group has launched what it calls its new Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) accelerator program, a portfolio of component technologies for planning MaaS operations all the way to operating and managing MaaS in any city around the world.
Its strategy was explained by Miller Crockart, VP of Global Sales and Marketing Traffic: “Everyone has heard about the ‘Lisbon study,’ in which PTV Group participated as a member of the corporate partner board of the OECD, and the potential implications of the introduction of shared mobility, MaaS and autonomous vehicles.
“The evaluation of such approaches is essential for all cities, transit operators, fleet operators and automotive OEMs alike,” he said.
“The way we have previously planned for the movement of people and goods has been radically altered with the advancements of these technologies and new ‘shared’ approaches,” Crockart said. “So, being able to, as it were, replicate the ‘Lisbon study’ for each city and potential operator is something PTV Group has developed as a commercially available software suite capable of quickly and efficiently evaluating MaaS.
“We are already working with several cities and automotive OEMs on what we call PTV Maas Modeller studies, which evaluate the introduction, KPIs, and appropriate parameters to allow MaaS and, eventually, fleets of AVs to become part of the overall transport eco-system.”
Crockart continued, “We are unique in that PTV Group understands the demand management side of this topic, and also the routing, scheduling and trip optimization aspects. The reason being, for many years ... we’ve addressed the traffic demand management market and also, separately, the logistics and fleet optimization and management market.
“Bringing these two aspects together has given us the ideal solution to planning, optimizing and operating MaaS, and eventually the full deployment of fleets of autonomous vehicles,” Crockart said.
In related activity, the University of Melbourne is collaborating with industry leaders from Australia and around the globe, including PTV Group, to integrate data from VicRoads, Public Transport Victoria, the city of Melbourne and the city of Yarra with traffic updates to deliver insights into traffic planning, pedestrian flows, public transport efficiency and freight movements.
The PTV Group technologies Visum, Vissim and Optima real-time traffic status prediction will be deployed within this “living transport lab.”
[Source: PTV Group]
Panasonic, Silver Spring Networks Team to Extend ‘Smart City’ Reach
Panasonic CityNOW, a business of Panasonic Corp. of North America, and Silver Spring Networks have announced a new go-to-market alliance that leverages the latter company’s Starfish Internet of Things (IoT) platform and CityNOW’s portfolio of “smart” and sustainable solutions for cities, real estate developers, utilities and other “smart city” customers.
CityNOW integrates best-in-class Panasonic and third-party technologies across five smart city pillars: smart mobility, clean energy, city services, smart buildings and health & wellness.
The alliance is designed to support CityNOW’s Safe and Smart Streets initiative, which turns a single-use asset often considered a liability — the street light — into a multi-use, highly valuable asset.
The street light pole, officials explained, becomes the host for multiple smart and sustainable technologies with cross-cutting benefits: controllable smart LED lights that save energy and O&M costs; community WiFi; environmental sensing (e.g., temperature, air quality and light intensity); video cameras for public safety; and parking/traffic management. Connected and controlled by an IoT backbone, it is designed to transform “just a light” into “the smartphone of the streetscape.”
Panasonic has deployed the Starfish platform to connect and control LED streetlights at Peña Station NEXT, a 400-acre, mixed-use, transit-oriented development next to Denver International Airport.
The anchor corporate tenant at Peña, the company has partnered with the city and county of Denver, the airport, the utility Xcel Energy, developer LC Fulenwider LLC, and other stakeholders to make the development “an iconic example of smart and sustainable solutions. This public-private partnership will use Peña as a test bed for technologies and business models before broader deployment throughout the Denver metro area and beyond,” the organizations said.
The Denver initiative builds on the company’s global “smart city” expertise, including Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town, a Panasonic-led smart and sustainable development in Fujisawa, Japan, about 30 miles southwest of Tokyo. Peña Station NEXT also is home to the Panasonic Technology & Solutions Center, which opened in September 2016 and serves as the operations hub for Panasonic CityNOW and Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Co.
[Source: Panasonic Corp. of North America]
Towne Park Acquires Salt Lake City’s Valet Parking Services
Towne Park, a leader in hospitality and healthcare services, has acquired Valet Parking Services (VPS), the leading valet company in Salt Lake City. The deal “secures the No. 1 position for the company in the city, and creates the region’s most powerful full-range platform of services, supported by Towne Park’s extensive nationwide resources and deep industry expertise.”
“With VPS, we will build from a position of strength in a market that is underserved,” said President and CEO Chuck Heskett. “Together we seek to dominate the market, accelerate growth and build one of the best places to work in the country.”
“Towne Park brings massive scale, world-class quality and highly attractive career opportunities,” added VPS President and CEO Kevin Parker. “They are a true game-changer in the industry, and we are delighted to join forces to help businesses build memorable customer experiences and extend their brands.”
The acquisition is its fourth over the past two years as Towne Park “continues to build a platform of services that is transforming the hospitality and healthcare industries. Its portfolio of services is unlocking synergies in the hospitality and healthcare verticals, helping hotels, hospitals and other businesses create new business models, maximize growth opportunities and enhance their brands,” the company said.
In related news, Towne Park also has acquired M.V.P. Services, a leading valet service company in Cleveland. It is “the valet of choice” for nearly all of the city’s entertainment districts and most of its leading hotels.
The deal “combines M.V.P.’s strong local market and customer experience expertise with Towne Park’s unrivalled scale, resources and diverse service offerings.”
“Towne Park is the industry ‘gold standard,” said M.V.P. President and CEO Tyler Lombardo. “I couldn’t be prouder as we join them to help businesses build better customer experiences and enhance their brands.”
[Source: Towne Park]
Inrix OpenCar to Integrate Amazon Alexa Into ‘Connected’ Vehicles
Inrix Inc. announced the integration of Amazon Alexa, the “intelligent” cloud-based voice service, into its OpenCar platform for “connected” vehicles. In the second half of 2017, drivers with OpenCar-enabled vehicles will be able to access a host of services from within their vehicle via Alexa, including Amazon Music, Audible audiobooks, and Inrix Driver Services such as traffic, parking, incidents and road weather conditions.
An open “white-label” in-vehicle application platform, OpenCar enables cross-brand development for third-party content providers; a consistent and rich user experience for drivers; and brand-, model- and region-specific interfaces for automakers, the company said.
Its “ecosystem” currently includes more than 2,250 registered developers representing hundreds of companies, offering a range of services, including streaming audio and entertainment, city guides, real-time parking and mapping services, and reservations.
In addition, Inrix is developing an Alexa “skill” that will enable users to communicate with their connected vehicles from within their homes. Using Alexa via products such as Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, users will soon be able to ask for real-time traffic, travel times to a destination, find and reserve parking, and more. Information such as route directions and traffic conditions can be sent directly to OpenCar-equipped vehicles from home, creating a seamless experience between home and car.
“The ubiquity of mobile and cloud technology in our lives makes the integration with Amazon Alexa a key solution for people looking to maintain personalized and seamless connectivity throughout their daily lives,” said Joe Berry, VP of OpenCar at INRIX. “Innovative technology, such as Amazon Alexa, enables OpenCar to meet the needs of automakers and deliver a next-gen experience for connected cars.”
[Source: Inrix Inc.]
Saba Barcelona Chooses Circontrol to Optimize Facilities of Its Carparks
Circontrol, a manufacturer of solutions for efficient parking, joins its efforts with Saba, reference operator in the field of parking and urban mobility.
It has collaborated with Bamsa — the public-private company that links Saba and Barcelona City Council — in the design of an innovative proposal to improve the efficiency of the management of its parking and the mobility of urban centers.
To date, the Circontrol system has been installed in seven Saba carparks in Barcelona, ranging in size from 268 to 611 spaces. The great differentiation in these carparks is the installation in each square of a new system of LED lighting of very low consumption and great luminosity that’s designed to improve the perception of comfort and security of the user when he is leaving or picking up his vehicle.
At the same time, the company said, this complementary illumination allows for turning off some lines of fluorescents, maintaining an adequate level of illumination with a saving of electrical consumption.
Circontrol said the proposal offers a lighting system, as well as a comprehensive and integrated solution for efficient parking management, through its CirPark platform software.
Volkswagen Financial Services AG Acquires PayByPhone
Volkswagen Financial Services AG, a division of Volkswagen Group, has acquired PayByPhone, the world’s leading parking payment provider. The deal positions the company as the “clear leader in mobile payments and parking sectors, while providing the foundation for future PayByPhone growth globally and continued innovation.”
As consumers look for easy-to-use mobile solutions that fit their increasingly digital lives, the acquisition “signals a growing market for mobile-payment solutions. PayByPhone’s technology will soon be available for millions more drivers around the globe.”
CEO Kush Parikh said, “This is a tremendous opportunity for PayByPhone to explore new ways to expand our mobile payments technology into different verticals, markets and use cases. The mobile payment movement has exploded recently, and we look forward to accelerating our consumer parking and payments agenda made possible by this deal.
“Volkswagen Financial Services AG has been at the forefront of innovation to fit its customers’ mobile lives,” he said, “and we are honored to be a part of its global vision.”
The acquisition expands the company’s footprint in the mobile-payment solutions market, and positions the organization as the central service provider within the Volkswagen Group for the parking business. (It already has acquired a 92% shareholding in Sunhill Technologies GmbH, the German market leader in mobile-parking solutions across 90 German cities.)
“With the acquisition of PayByPhone, we are now the leading provider for the processing and mobile payment of parking,” said Christian Dahlheim, the management board member responsible for sales and marketing at Volkswagen Financial Services AG. “In the future, we will be bundling this know-how in a separate business field around the theme of parking,”
[Source: Volkswagen Financial Services AG]