When was the last time you sent an SMS in your personal capacity? Chances are that it’s been a while. Now, think about how…
Parkfind, an app developed by Street Parking Solutions (SPS), allows users to search for, navigate to and pay for parking anywhere in the Cape Town central business district (CBD) in real time. With layers of technology behind it, have you ever wondered how it all works?
It took two years to develop the architecture around Parkfind, the business model and the internally developed parking management system that forms the backbone of Parkfind, says SPS operations manager Josh Lindenberg.
“We understand the parking business, we understand parking management and we understand how sensors work,” says Lindenberg.
He says the app is unique in that SPS has over the years combined the best of parking technologies to create it. “We put ourselves in the mind of the motorists,” he adds.
Here’s how it all works.
The app is available on iOS and Android platforms. Once users have downloaded the Parkfind app, they then register for in-app payments using their credit and debit card. Should a user not want to use their card, there is an option to pay marshals directly.
Parkfind works through a network of autonomous sensors installed around the CBD which relay information on availability of parking bays to users in real-time. The app uses a three-colour coded pin system, where users simply have to select a pin to view available bays, tariffs and parking marshals on duty.
Another way users can search for parking is by scrolling through available parking bays. Alternatively users can use a search function within the app to find their parking.
Parkfind brings the best in parking technology, allowing you to search for, navigate to and pay for parking on the go
Once users have found a parking bay, the app helps them navigate to the parking bay through a Navigate Me function within the app. This plots a route to the parking spot using the user’s preferred navigation app.
On arrival, a pop-up notification will confirm that a parking marshal has registered your parking session. Parking marshals use handheld mobile automatic number plate recognition software to then read your number plate to verify and track your transaction.
SPS has also issued all of its 300 parking marshals with body warn video cameras. This “reduces customer conflict with the parking marshals”.
Users who have registered for in-app payments can pay for a parking session by simply tapping the “Leave and pay” option within the app.
One also has the option of paying parking marshals directly. This can be done through mobile payment platforms like SnapScan or Zappa.
Don’t have a mobile payment app? SPS has ensured that every parking marshal has a credit card point of sale device on them. “EMV (Europay Mastercard and Visa) levels 1 and 2, the most sophisticated credit card and debit card processing platform”, says Lindenberg.
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