Technologies like Bluetooth, cloud software, and mobile payments are intertwined in our everyday lives in so many ways: from wireless car speakers to cloud-based photo storage, to simply tapping our phones to pay at the grocery store.
So why are people still reluctant to apply them to parking?
The cloud is the most reliable, efficient, and powerful way to run a business today; it is quickly becoming clear that it will be the only way to sustain a business into tomorrow.
Practically every successful company today was either born in the cloud or is making the switch. Take Docusign for example, whose recent shift to the cloud signaled the company’s acknowledgement that cloud-based processing was the only logical way to go on. Once every technology company – be it a mobility service like Uber or a consumer giant like Apple – functions in the cloud, there will be no choice but for others do the same.
When people express uncertainty about trusting the cloud, I ask them:
Do you trust iCloud to store precious photos of your family and friends?
Do you trust eBay to keep your credit card information safe?
How many others of the 90% of Fortune 500 companies that run on Microsoft Azure do you rely on for critical processes and entrust with valuable information?
New implementations of technology can spark uncertainty, but when you realize how intertwined these technologies already are to our everyday lives, it makes sense that they should be applied to parking, too.
I remember the days when eTickets for flights first became a thing. For years prior I’d book a flight with a travel agent and then bring a printed ticket to the airport. When eTickets arrived, you’d just arrive at the desk and they would print a boarding pass for you there. The first few times I showed up to the airport without printed ticket in hand, there was this odd sense of uncertainty. Thinking back on it that seems so hilarious; today I just use a mobile boarding pass and I couldn’t imagine going back.
That’s why the parking industry’s age-old obsession with printed parking tickets is so funny to me. We have all this technology and still, to this day, are unbuckling our seatbelts and sticking our arms out of car windows in the heat or rain to pull tickets. And hence, (some) access companies continue to spend valuable development dollars on these silly little printers.
And that’s why the parking industry has come to fascinate me so much: it’s not really about the technology, it’s about the way we are applying it to human experiences.
Bluetooth technology is not new, nor did we invent it. But what we did invent – and what is new – is the experience of a driver tapping a button on their phone, a gate lifting in a matter of seconds, and that person being able to access a garage without rolling down their window, reaching for a ticket or scanning a prox card, or even a second thought about the entire interaction.
That is what innovation truly looks like to me and I am so excited to be at the forefront of it with FlashParking.