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Geolocation-enabled MaaS platform

Location is key to seamless transition between transportation modes. Parkofon facilitates parking, payment, and guidance with our platform.

Photo of Evgeny Klochikhin

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The key to enabling convenient Mobility-as-a-Service is guiding the user from one transportation mode to the next efficiently and seamlessly. Until now, our journey planning has been mostly a choice between driving a car and taking public transit. MaaS, in contrast, teaches us that not one choice has to be made: we may start in a car, change to bus or train, and take the bicycle for the last mile of our journey. 

Parkofon enables real-time, automated parking guidance and payment in the car and connects users to the next transportation mode via our application. We propose to distribute our devices to 100 drivers. Participants will have full access to our location-based mobile application that guides them to open parking spaces and charges them for the actual time they spent parked. The same mobile application will provide them information about other modes of transportation that will help them reach the destination. For example, instead of driving downtown, these drivers may enjoy discounted parking at a park&ride location where Parkofon will guide them to open parking spaces and will use the same payment account to charge them for public transit taken to reach their final destination.

Overall, the plan is to use our platform to provide participants with the best routing information and encourage them to combine multiple transportation modes thus changing their everyday behavior to a more sustainable mobility mix. The participants can be selected among regular drivers who rarely take public transit to encourage behavioral change and create positive attitudes towards MaaS among Michigan citizens.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Parkofon will distribute 100 devices to regular drivers who rarely use public transit to encourage them change their transportation habits and build positive attitude towards sustainable MaaS. The drivers will place the devices inside the vehicle to facilitate parking and routing. They will also download Parkofon app on their phones to receive best routing options. When the user needs to go downtown, they will type in the destination and receive routing options along with sustainability metrics: CO2 footprint, duration, and convenience score. By choosing the more sustainable option, users will earn badges and rewards. They will also be able to explore their driving and mobility habits on a web-based dashboard and compare themselves to other drivers. Once they park, Parkofon charges them automatically for the session and guides to the next transportation mode. Using their saved payment account, users will be automatically charged for using all transportation modes, as needed.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Parkofon - www.parkofon.com - is a smart mobility company utilizing the Internet of Things to help people move around cities. Our platform is a device paired with mobile app that knows exactly when people park and charges them for the actual time they spent parked. When they drive away, the system guides others to the space to reduce search time, congestion and pollution. Our team includes seasoned professionals in mobility tech, transportation, data science, hardware, and software engineering.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $75,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Parkofon is a tested technology used to facilitate traffic flows and parking management in a smart city environment. We work with New York University to deploy Parkofon to commercial fleets in Brooklyn to facilitate delivery parking. We are also discussing the same approach with Boston's transportation chief. Avis Budget Group works on a proof-of-concept with Parkofon technology to facilitate parking for rental drivers. Because the technology is fully developed and tested and we already integrated GR parking maps, the Challenge funding is mostly needed to adapt the platform to the GR mobility environment and integrate real-time data about all modes of transportation into our platform. The major advantage of our platform is convenience - automated parking and guidance. We charge drivers $4.99/mo. until we integrate location-based services. For example, a restaurant can offer a discount for choosing a sustainable route through our app while paying us an ad fee.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

GR has abundant parking and is easily accessible. This, in turn, encourages people to use vehicles to drive downtown. Because we will accompany all routing options with the carbon footprint, duration, convenience, miles driven and other scores, the user's sustainable choices will serve as the best metric of MaaS success. In other words, having the score of car-only journey and comparing it to the selected, more sustainable routes, we will quantify the positive impact of the program. Another success measure is the number of local businesses advertising on our platform to promote sustainable transportation and reward customers. Finally, the post-pilot survey and user retention metric will be measurable success indicators.
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Attachments (2)

Smart City Kit intro.pdf

Parkofon's Smart City Kit helps cities drive economic development, reduce congestion, improve accessibility, and drop hefty infrastructure expenses.

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Photo of annie young
Team

Grand Rapids recently released its own parking app. It is called MOTU Check it out
https://www.grandrapidsmi.gov/Shortcut-Content/News-Media/Grand-Rapids-launches-Motu-%E2%80%93-new-app-for-on-street-parking-payments

Photo of Evgeny Klochikhin
Team

Thanks for sharing! We are not a parking app, not a simple payment system. Our mission is smart mobility, not just facilitating payment. Everything we do is based on geolocation, and parking is only a bridge between you and your final destination while driving. Automated parking payment (i.e. no parking zone numbers or meters at all) is an important component but does MOTU provide you with real-time space availability? Does it provide with routing options and user dashboard about all your trips? Does it include all on-street parking maps in one app and connects it to potential destinations, be it a restaurant or office building? Does it tell you how many metered spaces are there around your final destination? There is much more we do as we care about people's mobility needs rather than payment alone.

Photo of Tom Bulten
Team

Thanks for the additional details, Evgeny. MOTU (Grand Rapids parking app) is a pretty simple payment application. It provides no information on availability, routing or alternative modes of travel. Other applications like parkme.com seem to offer some information on availability, pricing, and location.

Photo of Evgeny Klochikhin
Team

Yes, other applications like ParkMe and ParkNav (also submitting a proposal here) use predictive analytics to help drivers find parking. However, the data they typically work with is based on actual parking transactions and the history for a parking zone. These models can be prone to error because people overpay, overstay, etc. We, on the other hand, use real-time data from our devices that self-report when the spot opens up exactly and also reward drivers to report open spaces by a simple click of a button when they spot one. So, the difference is data quality and real-time information, which is not easy to get otherwise.

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