A mobile app is changing the parking game. The technology allows drivers to find and prepay for parking with ease using a scannable code.
A mobile app changing the parking game
A mobile app is changing the parking game.
The technology allows drivers to find and prepay for parking with ease, using a scannable code.
Here's the story.
Finding a parking space downtown or in a densely populated area can be a challenge.
But a San Antonio-based company has created an app to make parking easier.
We've got roots right here in San Antonio.
We launched out of the Geekdom.
But our first market was Mexico City, where we saw that there were 4 million on the road every day and a massive parking problem that's a worldwide issue.
So we decided to build a network-effect app for parking, that solves it from the user's perspective.
And we had a little early success there and brought it back to the States, and now we're expanding here.
Mexico City served as a challenging proving ground for the Arriv.io app.
We saw the massive traffic issue, and we just kind of said, 'Well, you know, this is a problem that's solvable through technology.'
And we hadn't really seen anything at scale anywhere else in the world, tackling that problem.
There are other people, obviously, trying to do it, because it's a worldwide problem.
But what we figured in Mexico is, you know, 'There's 4 million cars on the road there.
Let's look at the commuter patterns and start trying to enable parking sites based on where people are moving across town.'
And that let us get a very fast scale-up and test, you know, that thesis.
And then we started looking at, 'In the U.S., does this make sense?
Where do people move from?'
So, like, if you're in San Antonio, you know you've got your different pockets of town, and people are commuting within those pockets, maybe for business meetings and whatnot, and they're also coming from other markets.
So, when you're going to Austin, you want to know that you've got a place in Austin.
And so you've got to build this network that really follows a user's mobility pattern.
And that's what we're after and solving for.
How does the Arriv.io app work?
It's a seamless process.
Whether it's street parking or garage parking or valet parking, you just click 'Check In' in the app, and the magic works in the background.
And whatever needs to happen, it's seamless to the user.
So you don't have to go and, like, try to make a reservation online or something like that.
It's got nothing to do with that.
It's, 'I'm here, I need to park.'
Arriv.io will show you where the nearest parking site is that's enabled with Arriv.io.
And when you get there, just by clicking 'Check In,' the app will do whatever you need to do.
And then, when you go to leave, you click 'Check Out,' and it does whatever needs to happen on the back end to make the magic work so you can leave.
And your payment is seamless inside the app.
Reyes believes that Arriv.io will have a positive impact on all traffic, even for drivers who aren't using the app.
In metropolitan areas, at least 20 to 30 minutes per trip, on average, is spent looking for parking.
So if I can take you directly to the parking site, get you off the street as quickly as possible, and get you parked as quickly as possible, with Arriv.io, that's a matter of seconds, as opposed to 20 minutes looking around, driving around the block.
So that could have a serious impact.
At scale, that could have a serious impact in traffic in downtowns, right?
David Sandoval, the senior chief engineer at the Weston Centre is downtown San Antonio, describes the ease of adding Arriv.io to his parking garage.
Our end was actually very painless.
Really, it's us joining Arriv.io's network and putting our parking structure into their system.
At that point, that's really all our part.
Arriv.io takes care of everything else.
Our current systems don't have to be integrated.
We don't have to have cost expenditure associated with that.
And we're able to bring that technology instantaneously to our building.
Let's test-drive the Arriv.io app and see how it performs.
Okay, so, I'm pulling in to park at the Weston Centre.
Coming up to the gate.
And right before the gate now, there is a QR code from Arriv.io.
There it is, right there.
So, you pull up your Arriv.io app and you press the 'Park' button.
So, I'm pressing 'Park.'
And there's the camera.
You aim your camera, from your phone, at the QR code.
And -- boom -- you're in.
The gate goes up, and you're ready to park.
Didn't have to roll the window down, didn't have to hand anybody any money.
It's a lot easier.
One of our advisers was one of the founders of Uber.
And I love the quote that he said, because when you talk about the potential in the problem that you're solving, and the scale that you can solve that problem, he said, 'Uber gets you from Point 'A' to Point 'B,' but Arriv.io solves the last mile.'
And think about what that means, because it's your journey, on your terms.
You're back in control.
You can do all kinds of smart things with that.
We've even started selling coffee in some of the parking sites, that you can park and have coffee waiting for you there.
[ Chuckles ]
You know, so there's crazy stuff that you can do that's really cool.
So, now we're pulling up to the exit gate at the Weston Centre in Downtown San Antonio.
You pull up to the gate, you see the QR code for Arriv.io, you pull up the app, and this time, it's 'Check Out.'
So I'm gonna press 'Check Out.'
It tells you your price.
And when you click 'Check Out,' your camera is going to appear.
There's the camera.
Aim it at the QR code.
Snap, and the gate will magically open for you.
We are free.
We are free to drive amongst ourselves.
But before you exit the garage, remember, always do the safe thing -- put your phone away.
No texting and driving.