Short Parking Stories
New Nonprofit Foundation Advocates For Excellence in Mobility Management
Ramon L. Mota-Velasco of Mexico City and Cristóbal Chao-Qing of Panama City and Macau have formed the H2H2H Foundation, a nonprofit, international organization championing the delivery of quality, commercial mobility management (MM) services by government entities, institutions, for-profit businesses and other stakeholders.
MM, an innovative worldwide trend in the public transportation sector, features a strategic approach to coordinating service and enhancing the customer experience. It accomplishes this by promoting communication and collaboration between managers of different elements of the transportation infrastructure within a particular community. These elements might include, for example, public transit networks, parking facilities, tollways and intelligent transportation systems (ITS).
One of its goals is to encourage thoughtful transportation demand management (TDM) strategies to better utilize existing transportation grids. Another objective is expanding the range of sustainable transportation options for consumers by leveraging the emerging “shared economy”.
The Panama City-based foundation will be active across Latin America.
“Our primary mission is to bridge the cultural, linguistic and commercial divides of North, Central and South American MM professionals,” says Mota-Velasco, Chairman of the entity’s Board of Governors. “However, we will also perform outreach [around] the globe, with affiliate offices initially located in six additional countries.”
The H2H2H Foundation will provide a unique, bilingual, Pan-American forum for the exchange of ideas and a platform for innovation. Via its website (www.H2H2H.org), publications, and online conferences and in select Latin American cities, the foundation will create a self-supporting showcase for the very best operations, solution providers and consultants in parking, TDM, intermodal transportation and ITS.
[Source: H2H2H Foundation]
Making Cars ‘Smarter’: EasyPark, Telenor Partner in Pilot of New On-Board Device
Two of the Nordics’ best-known technology and telecommunications brands unveiled the pilot of a new on-board device (OBD) at the newly established Nordic Car Connect Forum at StartupLab in Oslo. Called Telenor Connect, the device will provide drivers of cars built after 2001 with the technological capabilities of a much newer vehicle, delivering a suite of “smart” features to rival even the most technologically advanced cars on the market today.
The OBD comes with the EasyPark app as a standard feature, while also providing cars with a 4G WiFi hotspot to connect mobile phones and tablets to enable a range of entertainment options. The app already shows off-street availability, and soon will also enable drivers to seamlessly enter and exit a parking garage.
Chief Business Development Officer of EasyPark Group, Mauritz Börjeson, spoke about how the partnership represents an exciting new era for motorists everywhere. “This is the first step toward creating a fully automated parking experience for drivers. It’s far better to get an OBD than to buy a new car. This is about making smart services accessible to everyone,” he said.
The new device will first be tested in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, before being rolled out in the Nordics, as well as potentially in other markets in Telenor Group’s global footprint.
The new device will link to the EasyPark app, which is designed to ensure that drivers never pay too much for parking, thus minimizing the time spent fumbling around for spare change and trying to figure out the various parking zones and regulations throughout the city. It also will automatically stop the driver’s parking session when driving away.
According to Börjeson, however, this is just the beginning. “Later in the year, EasyPark will reveal a new parking guidance service, showing drivers the best route to their destination with the most available parking spaces along the way, revolutionizing the way we drive in urbanized areas,” he said.
[Sources: EasyPark Group, Telenor Group]
Meter Feeder Report Explains ‘IoT’ And Role in ‘Smart Cities’ Initiatives
How cities incorporate new technology into the mix for conveniences of everyday life will be a driving force in the IoT (Internet of Things) sector, reports Meter Feeder Inc. Our world is in a new tech age with artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) embedding us into unique experiences in every aspect of our lives.
From remotely adjustable thermostats for our homes to voice-activated phones, devices, light fixtures, TVs, music players, notifications in retail stores, grocery stores, malls, etc., the list goes on. Every service is embedded and augmented with features that connect to the world of IoT more than ever.
In fact, many cities are even incorporating “smart-parking” technology designed not only to reduce pollution and congestion, but also to make parking simpler. Thanks to new technology offerings, the parking experience has improved immensely through pay-by-phone parking apps (such as MeterFeeder’s GPS-enabled pay-by-phone ones), personalized parking reservations, and “cloud-based” location accessibility.
Officials in Redwood City, CA, for example, wanted to find a way to improve how existing parking facilities were utilized. Previously, the city used traditional means, such as paystations inside parking garages. Most of these went unmonitored, which means that things like occupancy, counting, and even reporting were anything but accurate.
The introduction of artificial intelligence seeks to change all of this and add much needed parking data analytics to help cities navigate parking availability and to plan for future infrastructure.
Vimoc Technologies recently completed delivery and integration of a new parking and automated building management platform in Redwood City. The company says this technology will allow more precise vehicle detection and counting, thus improving and optimizing the city’s revenue.
The goals are not only to provide more convenient parking, but also to observe and identify patterns that may lead to improvements in the city’s parking infrastructure. It will take some time until results are evident.
Analytics benefit city officials by improving revenue and pinpointing problems with existing infrastructure, the Meter Feeder report says, and it benefits drivers because they can see, at a glance, whether spaces are available in specific garages.
Smart parking is finding its way into many cities across the U.S., and drivers are already reaping the benefits with multi-space meters, GPS enabled pay-by-phone apps, and cashless payments, the report says.
IoT is on the move to enhance customer experience even more in the future, especially in smart city initiatives across the nation. With hundreds of devices and platforms being added every day, the future of the Internet of Things is intuitive and will grow different market platforms exponentially.
[Source: Meter Feeder Inc.]
‘Interest of Exhibitors Clearly Noticeable’ For 18th EPA Congress and Exhibition
Even with months to go before the start of the 18th EPA Congress and Exhibition 2017 in The Netherlands, it’s clear: Besides key players of the parking industry (e.g., Designa, Scheidt & Bachmann and Skidata), innovative industry newcomers have decided to participate as exhibitors.
Themed “Parking in the City Lounge” and hosted by the European Parking Association and nationally by Vexpan, the Dutch parking association, the event will take place Sept. 20-22 in Rotterdam.
“In the last couple of months, we have received a lot of encouragement from the industry,” said Simone Pfisterer, VP of Mesago Messe Frankfurt GmbH, its organizer. “The interest of the exhibitors in this significant European [Parking Association] event is already clearly noticeable today.”
The Scientific and Technical Program Committee has determined three main topics for the EPA Congress: “Parking today - solutions for the future,” “New visions of urban mobility” and “Technology.”
Besides getting a comprehensive overview of trends and developments of the European parking industry, event participants can look forward to well-known speakers, to inspiring plenary lectures, and to the presentation of the popular EPA Awards. There also will be many opportunities to exchange information and to network.
For more information and registration, go to epacongress.eu.
[Sources: Mesago Messe Frankfurt,
European Parking Association]
Some Millennium Garages Parking Fees Bought Online to Benefit
SP Plus Corp., the operator of Millennium Garages in downtown Chicago, has created its Park4Purpose program to benefit the Chicago community. Under the program (at www.park4purpose.com), the parking facility will work with local charities and community organizations to provide support to help those in need to improve their lives, the company said.
Inspiration Saturdays is the company’s first charitable endeavor, with a percentage of fees from Saturday daily parking purchased online (at www.millenniumgarages.com) going to the Inspiration Corp. Donations will help people needing assistance in paying for documents and licenses required to work toward their employment goals.
“The one-time fees to obtain birth certificates, identifications, GED testing, professional licenses and certifications can be a serious financial obstacle to people trying to overcome homelessness and poverty,” said Shannon Stewart, its Executive Director and CEO.
Kim Hyla, Marketing Manager at Millennium Garages said, “We were looking for a way to invest in the Chicago community. We chose Inspiration Corp., because they reach residents who are really trying to improve their lives and just need a little help.”
Millennium Garages is a 3.8 million-square-foot parking facility with some 9,176 spaces in four garages under Millennium, Grant and Maggie Daley parks.
As the largest underground parking system in the U.S., it offers customers in downtown Chicago parking near restaurants, hotels, theaters, universities, offices, retail shops, cultural venues, tourist attractions — plus events, including concerts, sports and seasonal festivals.
[Source: SP Plus Corp.]