Follow this series of six posts highlighting content from the European Parking Association (EPA), presented by EPA President Nigel Williams. Nigel joins some of the EPA’s data experts and other thought leaders to bring you this content, published by EPA in September 2023, offering insight into the EPA’s data initiatives and highlighting the importance, value, and use of parking data, and shining a spotlight on the Alliance for Parking Data Standards (APDS).
Part 6: APDS: The Great Enabler
As the chair of the APDS Change Control Group, Markus Schneider is increasingly contacted by organizations that are developing new products or applications based on APDS and need advice or that wish to request changes to APDS to enhance its capabilities. “For example, the City of Antwerp and Digipolis (Belgium) are using APDS APIs as the interface for their new fleet ANPR enforcement vehicles; Mitte (Spain and US) has developed a cloud-based parking platform; and Riverty (Germany, Netherlands, Nordics) has based its parking API for purchases and debt collection on APDS.”
There are also some big national implementations underway. The Bulgarian Association for Parking and Sustainable Urban Mobility unites the largest Bulgarian public parking municipal companies, so the association is uniquely positioned to identify best practices in parking and mobility on the European level through the EPA, and adapt them to its local context.
Its chair, Nikola Rogatchev, says, “We are striving to implement innovative solutions with tangible impacts that are immediately appreciated by the end-users. We are using APDS as the backbone for designing our parking platform. The open exchange of ideas that the EPA enables through its wide network and meeting platforms has also contributed to advancing our work. We have benefited greatly from the unique insights and lessons learned in this space. There has been so much quality work already done that is making our life much easier.”
With the help of APDS, the association is moving quickly and plans to launch the platform in 2024. By this time next year, it aims to have covered 85% of the public parking spaces in Bulgaria, all major airports, and 15% of the small private off-street parking spaces.
The biggest and most complex implementation of APDS to date is being finalized by the UK government’s Department for Transport. Morten Sorensen, chief distribution officer for EasyPark, says he is impressed by what he has seen so far with the UK’s National Parking Platform (NPP).
“It has great momentum as it moves to a full production platform. The platform has been built in line with the APDS standards to facilitate simplified data exchange between the subcomponents of connected applications,” he says. “More than six phone parking providers, a growing number of hardware providers, and the main back-office enforcement software providers have integrated into the NPP within the past year. Successful pilots have been deployed in Manchester, across the city council’s car parks; in Cheshire West and Chester’s on-street and off-street parking; on one street in Oxford; and across the entirety of Coventry City Council’s on-street parking and off-street car parks.”
Keith Williams adds, “Once it receives the final go-ahead, the NPP will make it possible to bring all parking data and digital payments in the UK into one place, regardless of who the supplier may be. For motorists, councils, private operators, and equipment manufacturers, it is a step towards a far more transparent landscape.”