By Laurens Eckelboom
While the parking industry has always been consumer-driven, there’s little doubt that the consumers in question want more. Consider the parker: The same person who can receive online goods and groceries in a matter of days, even hours. They can instantly stream movies, TV shows, podcasts, and music into their homes, cars, and mobile phones. They can shortlist potential romantic partners in real time with a simple swipe right. Should it be any surprise that they want to safely park at a convenient location for the best price available to them? Of course, they do. But as service providers, are we there yet?
Before the pandemic disrupted operations, the parking industry was already undergoing an era of drastic change. Technology providers, parking reservation platforms, location services, and more were starting to—lot by lot, space by space—rethink the parking experience as part of the overall customer journey. Multiple parties separately solved a part of the process, making it savvier and more convenient. As we soon move towards operations in a post-pandemic environment, a sum of independent solutions will likely not meet our customers’ demands for today, and much less their desires for tomorrow.
The renowned Czech-Canadian scientist and policy analyst, Vaclav Smil, said, “Collaboration and augmentation are the foundational principles of innovation.” Imagine what we could achieve if we, as an industry, collectively ideated and innovated with a broad bevy of perspectives, resources, and data at our disposal. Our diversity in experience paired with an alignment in vision would not only lead to measurable progress, but it would also assert our ability to thrive.
Laurens Eckelboom is ParkHub’s chief revenue officer. He and Michael Back, Honk’s founder and CEO, will present “How Collaborative Technologies Will Help Drive Safety-First Parking Solutions” at IPMI’s Innovation and Mobility Summit online, Feb. 24 and 25. Click here for details and to register.