October 5, 2017 | Written by: Jen Clark
Share this post:
Jack Skelton, Vice President of Operations at IBM, spoke at the Genius of Things event in Boston about IBM’s work with Republic Parking System, Inc., – a company providing professional parking management services to airports, cities, hospitals and private businesses across the USA and Central America. Republic has been using IoT data and analytics to bring operational excellence to its customers, so they can bring great customer service to theirs.
Republic: taking the pain out of parking, since 1966
Anyone with a car will be familiar with the misery of the fruitless parking space search. The cruise for a hoped-for space brings with it a plethora of frustrations: wasted time for drivers, congestion in built-up areas and increased emissions, to name just a few.
It isn’t just drivers who suffer, either. When parking is part and parcel of a larger service, say, going to the airport to catch an onward flight, attending a hospital appointment, or visiting a theme park or hotel, the owners of those parking lots can end up with a customer satisfaction problem on their hands. A customer who has wasted 20 minutes trying to park has already had a negative experience before they even begin their main interaction with the company.
How the IoT can make drivers’ lives easier
As the largest operator of municipal parking systems in the USA, Republic are well-aware of these issues. To solve them, they are working with IBM to incorporate IoT data and analytics into their customers’ parking management operations.
As the Watson IoT platform can integrate with parking facility management software and payment gateways, drivers can receive real-time notifications to identify and provide directions to available parking spaces, which they can pay for with their phone. No more trawling for spaces and cursing broken ticket machines.
There’s a payoff for parking lot owners too. Integrated digital systems using Big Data Analytics are constantly using those data to provide better services, and address operational challenges such as:
- Keeping track of vehicle fleets,
- Identifying and enforcing parking violations,
- Auditing and management issues,
- Communications and logistics to find the most efficient routes for taxis and shuttles,
- Challenges adopting and integrating new technology.
With the help of Watson IoT, Republic can help their customers identify irregular parking and unusual activity around particular vehicles, spot time limit violations, and process citations efficiently.
Additionally, video analytics and a targeted citation process mean tickets and fines for parking violations can be processed automatically, without the need for manual enforcement, saving parking lot owners time, labour and money.