Alastair Budge, Head of Peer-to-Peer at JustPark, does a pretty good Mystic Meg impression. We spoke to him to get the lowdown about companies shaping the future of parking, from cut-price croissants to cars that park themselves. Here’s 7 of the best.
The unpleasant reality is that every time you get in your car and switch on the engine, you’re going to end up having to park your car. At JustPark we’re here to make one of life’s great miseries a little more pleasant. But the even better news is that it’s not only the good ship JustPark navigating the stormy parking seas – people all over the world are working night and day to take the pain out of parking. Here’s a look at some of the other innovations that are happening the world over.
1. Cars that park themselves
No word of a lie. For the small sum of $120K (£75K), our friends over at Tesla will hand you the keys to a new Model S, boasting ‘self-parking’ functionality. This beast will drop you off at your front door, then politely take itself off to the nearest garage.
2. On-demand valet parking
New startups Zirx and Luxe are offering to pick up your car anywhere in San Francisco and deliver it back to you within 15 minutes. If you can trust a stranger to get behind the wheel of your pride and joy, then they’ll take care of your car at a ‘secret off-site location’.
3. Self-stacking car parks
OK, so this is a bit of a cheat, as these have been around for quite a while now. The idea is to maximise space by leaving as little empty air hanging around as possible. If Tetris is your thing, then a stacking car park will float your boat (and park your car). The downside? Nipping back to get your wallet is a faff and a half, so don’t forget your wallet on the passenger seat.
4. Park and eat?
The Copthorne Tara not only offer drivers discounted parking (vs. the standard rates), but will throw in a coffee and a croissant for £2 for all JustPark drivers. Oh la-la! (By 2020 we’re expecting people to be upsold full Sunday Roasts with their parking tickets.)
5. Park and earn?
Did you know that at some airports you can actually earn money when parking your car? These companies will rent out your vehicle to other people while you’re away – which means not only do you get free holiday parking, but you get paid at the end of it. FlightCar is the market leader in the US, and will pay you $30 for the the use of your car for an average trip.
6. In-car parking services
Did you know that your car can pre-book parking for you? All new MINIs now come equipped with the functionality to allow you to use your JustPark app directly from the dashboard. Booking parking is now as easy as skipping over that rogue U2 album Bono managed to slip onto your iTunes, and you can save up to 70% while you’re at it..
7. Sensors that direct people to free spaces
Lastly, but not leastly, there are some companies out there that are working to help direct people to free parking spaces with sensors in the ground. If you’re circling for a spot you can download an app like ParkRight and see where there are free on-street spaces. It’s currently only available in Westminster, London. Watch this space.
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