Parking Insights 01/18
This last year has been very successful for APCOA – thanks to the outstanding work of everyone involved. Throughout 2017, we made great strides, both strategically and operationally. Specifically, APCOA acquired numerous new contracts for its international portfolio and achieved an all-time high in terms of business customer loyalty. We have also laid the foundations for a successful future by focussing our corporate strategy more on our end-customers and the digitalization of our systems. Saying that, we will be launching a new digital service in Germany in the second quarter of this year, followed by further key European markets. Meet us at MIPIM in Cannes for an exclusive preview of our new digital service and learn about its functionality and added value it will provide to both – our end-customers and property owners. You will find us at our booth P-1, F64 We look forward to seeing you.
Your Philippe Op de Beeck
2007 - An APCOA success story
APCOA closed the previous year with strong results in terms of new business and customer loyalty. We were able to expand our portfolio with the acquisitions of numerous international contracts. In Germany, we acquired the contracts for the operation of two new build car park projects in Düsseldorf and Neustadt. In Stockholm, APCOA is now in charge of all parking spaces at the city’s inner-city hospitals as well as the city’s entire on-street parking facilities.
In Copenhagen, we are the new exclusive partner of the Tivoli amusement park. Following its successful deployment at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm and further Scandinavian airports, Schönefeld Airport, Berlin has now also rolled-out our traffic management system. In Italy, APCOA has taken over the management of a total of more than 16,000 parking spaces at Milan airports Malpensa and Linate. In the United Kingdom, the company now operates more than 80 percent of all railway parking spaces. Our other national entities also showed strong growth development.
At the same time, 2017 was not only a successful year in terms of our operative business – we also delivered strong progress on a strategic level. Targeted investments have accelerated the digitalization of our systems and services. The fruits of our labours will be seen in just a few weeks when we introduce a new digital service for our end-customers in Germany.
The mobility trends for 2018
Our mobility concepts are constantly changing. Five clear trends have already emerged for the current year:
No other alternative drive system is attracting anywhere near as much attention as electro mobility. As a result, it needs to be an integral component of our future concepts. For APCOA, this means integrating even more electric charging stations into our car parks.
2. Mobility hubs
Public transport, together with environmentally friendly options, such as e-bikes and car-sharing, are increasingly emerging as viable alternatives to classic private transport. On the outskirts of many of our major cities, Park+Ride stations can serve as integrated mobility hubs; in city centres, multi-storey car parks offer the ideal infrastructure, not only for electric vehicles and their charging stations, but also as attractive logistics solutions. Mail order companies are already setting up collection stations in car parks. In the future, logistics service providers could well exploit space in car parks for interim storage as they ready goods for the last mile.
Given the importance of digitalization, connectivity is unsurprisingly becoming an increasingly important topic. And this is also set to deliver benefits to the mobility sector. By skilfully combining different digital solutions, inner-city traffic can be significantly eased – thereby improving the environmental balance of our cities and municipalities. With these possibilities in mind, we are hard at work improving the connectivity of APCOA’s infrastructure, customers and partners as part of our Connected Strategy. Our focus is on an API-based IT platform that will enable all of our stakeholders to seamlessly access and share data. Customers will have access to APCOA’s services and parking garages via an app, an RFID card or an automatic license plate recognition system. This will allow us to tailor our services even more effectively to the requirements of our customers.
4. Traffic management
The logical extension of our improved connectivity is a superordinate traffic management system (TMS). This technology can be used to intelligently control the flow of vehicle traffic at road intersections. To date, APCOA has implemented its TMS as a taxi management system at Stockholm and Berlin-Schönefeld airports, as well as at numerous train stations, ports, event halls and trade fairs, where it has significantly reduced CO2 emissions.
5. Autonomous vehicles
Thanks to numerous international pilot projects, what was once the preserve of science fiction is already a reality: the self-driving car. This technology will undoubtedly shape the future of personal mobility, and multi-storey car parks are widely regarded as among the first spaces to benefit from autonomous vehicles. Cars that can drive and park themselves will enable us to use the space in our car parks far more efficiently, for instance because we will no longer need to allow extra space for drivers to comfortably open car doors to enter and exit their vehicles.
The Mobility of the future is digital
A self-driving car that searches for a parking space and is summoned by its owner via an app – at this point in time, this remains a vision of the future. However, the first steps into a digital future have already been taken. Detlef Wilmer, Managing Director of APCOA PARKING Deutschland GmbH, explains what progress has already been made.
It is impossible to imagine life without our smartphones. What role will they play in shaping the future of personal mobility?
Exploiting the full potential of the smartphone, APCOA will continue to simplify the personal mobility of its customers. With our new digital service, which we are introducing in Germany from the second quarter onwards, we will make parking faster and more convenient. Via a new app or our website, our customers will be able to plan their journeys more efficiently in the future. A search and navigation function will guide drivers to the most convenient car park for their final destinations. The service will provide information on opening hours, prices and parking space availability. Thanks to the RFID cards we provide for our customers, car park barriers will open automatically. Customers will also be spared the hassle of getting a ticket from a machine as they enter, and they won’t have to queue and pay before they leave the car park. Billing will be processed automatically, with charges made to the customer’s credit card, which will make the system even easier for business travellers. All parking processes can be viewed in the app. For our customers, the smartphone app delivers real benefits in terms of time saving and convenience. And we are not resting on our laurels – we already have a number of additional functions lined up.
You mentioned saving time and enhancing convenience for your customers. What added value does the app offer?
One clear benefit, and not only for our customers, is the reduction of vehicle emissions. In addition, by optimizing the search for parking spaces, we can help to ease traffic in our city centres. At certain times, cars searching for a parking space account for almost one-third of inner-city traffic. This corresponds to an output of 1.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide per search. It is therefore not just a matter of personal comfort, but of reducing traffic and emissions within the cities – and thus improving quality of life for everyone. The next important step for us will be optimising the search for individual on-street parking spaces. But achieving these goals is not only a question of developing the technology you use, it also involves engaging with third parties.
Have you already entered into partnerships to expand your offer?
That is absolutely correct. We are already working with a number of strategic partners. Our improved services are built upon an API-based IT interface. This enables us and our partners to exchange information and analyse and optimise our offers. In VW Financial Services, we have gained a key partner from the automotive industry. As a result of this partnership, we will be able to integrate our new digital services into more than 1.3 million leased vehicles. We are also holding talks on potential cooperation in the area of electric charging infrastructure. Our ultimate aim is to bundle all of these services. For example, the cost of the electricity used to charge an electric vehicle in one of our car parks could also be invoiced via the APCOA app.