How parking could steer the connected car movement

Customer expectations for connected vehicles are rising. In fact, such is the popularity of connected car services from drivers that a recent study from McKinsey found that thirty seven percent of respondents were willing to change car brands for improved connectivity features. What this demonstrates is that connected car services are no longer considered just a ‘nice to have’ for many vehicle owners. Rather, customers now increasingly expect to have the same seamless access to services while in their vehicles that they would have at home or in the office.

However, despite the growing body of evidence supporting interest from car users in connected services, the focus of mobility services is typically not on driver engagement or satisfaction but instead on the benefits to industry bodies themselves. A heightened focus on services such as traffic data, insurance, and leasing — due to the direct benefits these industries gain from car data — rather than on the driver’s own experience has meant that somewhere in the mix the user has got lost.

It’s not just third party mobility apps and services which have taken their eye off the end user. Although OEMs are catching up with connected car services, those currently on offer to drivers are limited, with only a handful of tangible benefits to the car user. Drivers can check mileage status, or receive repair notifications (information that is also displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard), but these play a very small part in enhancing that user’s driving experience. This is bad news for OEMs, as research shows that brands which fail to meet rising expectations of connectivity features are at high risk of losing customers.

If third party apps and services want to capitalise on this boom in consumer interest, strategic decisions and investments need to be made in services and experiences which have the end user firmly in mind.

The benefits of parking

A solution to this issue is parking. A seamless, automatic parking and payment app provides clear benefits to both mobility services and individual drivers. It taps into the current wave in consumer interest, while still bestowing numerous advantages on businesses and industry. In addition, as a service that’s required regularly throughout the day or week, a parking solution gets frequent engagement from drivers. With the benefits to the driver’s lifestyle immediate and transparent, their decision to own or drive a connected car is further bolstered.

Advantages for fleets

Fleet management companies benefit from significant financial and administrative gains when they adopt a streamlined parking and payment solution for their fleets. In fact, a standardised parking app brings down parking costs for fleets by an average of twenty percent, with parking fines eradicated altogether. From the administrative side, thanks to an all-online solution, fleet management companies see a huge reduction in paperwork, saving employee time and the headaches of unnecessary bureaucracy.

Fleet drivers gain from this approach too. A standardised parking solution can manage, pay for, and track their parking without any manual input required, leaving them free to concentrate on the job in hand.

Advantages for car rental and car sharing

Car rental and sharing companies have also reported huge benefits to adopting this single solution approach to parking. When customers can return their vehicles and pay the parking charges as part of one package, they enjoy a seamless rental and parking experience. With no unexpected fines, or complicated transactions, car rental companies can be sure of high customer satisfaction rates, word of mouth recommendations, positive reviews and repeat custom.

Advantages for OEMs

According to ABI Research, 30 million new connected vehicles were sold around the world in 2020. By 2025 that number is expected to reach 115 million. In the US last year, 91% of all cars sold were connected. These numbers give us some idea of the popularity of connected vehicles with the general public but also, importantly, of the heavy investment from car manufacturers in their own connected car programs.

However, despite the number of vehicles on the road, monetisation of car data has been slow for OEMs. Two key factors in this have been cited as a failure to generate customer interest and difficulty in differentiating their services from those that a user can receive on their smartphone. Put simply, OEMs are losing out because they cannot convince users of the tangible benefits or additional value in using connected car services.

With a standardised parking solution, this experience is turned around. Drivers see instant and daily benefits: they can park anywhere without the worry of payment or fines. These experiences reflect positively on the OEM, increasing brand loyalty and further boosting the relationship between brand and driver.

Advantages for drivers

For the end-user themselves, the advantages of an all-in-one parking and payment solution are clear. On a practical level, instead of dealing with machines, finding coins, locating zone numbers or overpaying for parking, users can simply drive away with their parking session automatically paid for.

Thanks to the accuracy and speed of this unique solution, parking inconveniences are removed: customers are not required to input any information manually, or deal with payment or proof of length of stay–they can simply drive away.

For new users, creating an account is also simple: the vehicle is connected in under five minutes of the account being registered. With no hardware or installation required, a customer can do everything online.

How does it work?

Concar has developed the world’s first patented automatic parking solution: an API which has the potential to connect with up to five million vehicles worldwide. Due to aftersales telematics being already in use in millions of cars, Concar’s parking solution can connect and launch instantly in these vehicles and entirely without additional hardware. Revenue for third party services is then generated from the moment the customer subscribes to the service.

This unique solution is not just seamless from the customer side. Concar’s one-stop shop marketplace enables contracts, integrations and the monitoring of multiple telematic providers all in one place–thanks to the use of a single API. Through the use of unique mapping layers, highly accurate GPS coordinates from connected car data and the intensive monitoring of this data by Concar, third parties can offer their customers the most seamless automatic parking solution available within moments of creating an online account. In addition, Concar is constantly monitoring all of its partners to prevent any downtime.

Conclusion

If mobility services are to engage with and capitalise on this wave of consumer interest in connected car services, the time is now to offer a solution by which drivers see tangible, everyday benefits from. We believe parking could be that solution.

With Concar’s unique, all-in-one parking solution, drivers enjoy a streamlined, hassle-free experience and in turn service providers and OEMs reap the advantages of higher customer satisfaction rates, lower costs, and reduced bureaucracy.

Mobility services need to put the user back at the centre of the connected car experience if they are to survive and thrive in an increasingly connected environment: we believe parking creates the ideal opportunity to do that.

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Concar

Concar

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Connected car marketplace for financial transactions