It still shocks me, that one billion of the world’s vehicles remain static for 95% of their life and 30% of city congestion is made up of vehicles looking for a space. A recent UrbInfo article caught my eye that illustrated the challenge our cities face. The report uncovered that motorists enjoy 60% of Manchester’s transport space despite only doing 13% of journeys. It’s clear parking remains a big issue and it needs solving, big time!
That’s why in 2013 I became hell bent on creating a consumer focused solution that would simplify parking, help drivers park quicker, reduce fuel consumption and ultimately contribute towards reducing pollution from our choking cities. I’m pretty sure that thousands of drivers before me who also suffered bad parking experiences must have frustratingly muttered “there should be an app for that!” But as my old boss said, “the idea is easy, but it’s just the start.” 1% inspiration requires 99% perspiration and this has never been so true with getting AppyParking to where it is today.
My mission to ‘Make Parking Forgettable’ was always met by amusement from the industry and investors as the idea challenged the multi billion dollar industry that was primarily focused on managing and monetising the streets through enforcement. Flipping the proposition into offering compliance through consumer friendly services both for cites and its customers would require incremental proof points and a waiting game while the market matured. The AppyParking mobile app was the most logical place to start to prove to the world that the pain of parking could be alleviated by putting three simple ingredients into one happy place; real-time information, restriction data and seamless pay-as-you-go payments. As a result, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, in partnership with VISA is still the first citywide demonstration in the world to offer seamless, one-click pay-as-you-go-parking and we’ve got four more cities going live this year.
Recent environmental, economical and sustainable transport pressures have reluctantly forced the parking industry to accept that the future cannot be about charging vehicles for 95% of their dormant life and penalising their occasional misdemeanours. That’s just bad economics for both car owners and city managers. Let’s also not forget that our beloved high streets are suffering for many reasons, one being the hostile reception at kerbside. The future has to be about cities offering the best service by transforming those four inches of static vertical granite into digitally dynamic mobility platforms that welcomes domestic cars and intelligent transport fleets with open arms.
With such incredible momentum behind us I’m super excited to announce AppyWay© as our new name. We’ve always been pro kerb and not pro car and AppyParking has served us well to push the positive parking agenda forwards. But behind the scenes we’ve been furiously building a world class data driven kerbside mobility platform that has the potential to embrace every ‘Kerb Kiss’ and most importantly puts local governments at the heart of the revolution. Digital transformation of such an analogue asset is essential to enable the future of EVs, disabled accessibility and full accountability for robo-taxis. We’ve come a long way in six years and it feels like we haven’t even started yet. Who would have thought that life in the gutter could be so interesting.