Westminster City Council Uk and Pimlico Plumbers have successfully tested a new parking system which is believed to be the world’s first “One Click Parking” payment system for vehicles.
During the one month trial of the latest AppyParking app and Vodafone xone’s drivexone, Pimlico Plumbers drivers found it was quicker and easier to find and pay for parking spaces in central London.
Using data from sensors in Westminster parking bays, AppyParking’s smartphone app showed the drivers where spaces were available in real time.
Once parked, all the driver needed to do was to click once within AppyParking to start the parking session. Thanks to drivexone, to end the session the driver could simply drive away, after which they received an email receipt to confirm the time and charges. This meant that drivers using AppyParking and drivexone were only charged for the actual time parked.
The AppyParking app also enabled the driver to see if they were in the congestion zone, discover the hours of restriction and see the hourly rate.
Drivexone is an aftermarket connected car dongle (and mobile application) solution that plugs into a vehicle’s On Board Diagnostics port. AppyParking uses a data feed from drivexone to provide the one click parking service.
Americo Lenza, Head of xone, Vodafone’s innovation lab, said: “In essence, drivexone turns any car into a sensor and will provide drivers with a range of diagnostic data about their journeys as well as enabling innovative applications like this one. It’s great to see drivexone used for this innovative trial which shows the potential to improve the parking experience for both consumers and businesses.”
Pimlico Plumbers are London’s biggest providers of plumbing services with 170 vans attending more than 100,000 jobs a year.
Charlie Mullins, Chief Executive and founder of Pimlico Plumbers, said: “This app has the potential to save Pimlico Plumbers £100,000 a year. It will also improve efficiency and save time, all of which will benefit the service we provide to our customers.”
Peter Hillier, an engineer at Pimlico Plumbers who took part in the trial, said: “Time is money at the end of the day and getting two or three tickets a month isn’t uncommon. Sometimes just getting a parking spot feels like a full time job and the working man really doesn’t need the hassle. I found AppyParking very simple to use allowing me to quickly park up and focus on my job.”
Westminster City Council also sees the huge advantages to the technology. For the first time, councils can show drivers where the nearest and cheapest available bays are, and then completely simplify the payment process.
Additionally having all this information and functionality in the palm of someone’s hand means that city streets will benefit from a drop in congestion, from drivers unnecessarily circling around the block, and most importantly pollution. Up to 30% of vehicles driving around inner cities are just looking for parking.
Cllr Heather Acton, Westminster City Council cabinet member for parking, said: “Our pioneering work with bay sensors has changed the way parking operates in the city. We continue to be a council that innovates in many ways, helping to advance our city so that businesses, tourism and our residents can thrive.”
Dan Hubert, CEO of AppyParking, added: “Innovation in any industry is key and drivers of Britain have suffered long enough. September will see the national launch of our brand new app and website that means we can offer One Click Parking to councils and drivers across the UK. This Uber style service means we can literally make parking feel as if it never happened and everyone can get on with the more important things in life.”