Innovative digital platform APCOA FLOW sets new benchmarks for European parking industry.
- New app makes parking quicker, easier and more convenient: No tickets. No cash. No stress.
- Available at 200 selected car parks with more than 100,000 parking spaces across Germany at launch
- Additional functions such as reservation and booking of parking spaces, as well as payment for on-street parking in the pipeline
- APCOA plans roll-out in 12 further European markets
- Open, central and scalable platform for all of Europe enables new partnerships and business models in the smart city ecosystem
- RFID chip connects cars and car parks to create the most comprehensive, truly connected car offering in Germany
Stuttgart, 3 May 2018 – APCOA PARKING, Europe’s leading parking facility manager, has successfully launched its new app, APCOA FLOW (apcoa.de/flow), which is based on the company’s proprietary digital platform for all European markets. At launch, customers can seamlessly enter, leave and make cashless payments without the need for tickets at 200 selected APCOA car parks with more than 100,000 parking spaces across Germany. The app also serves as a navigation system, identifying and guiding the driver to the most convenient car park for their final destination. Thanks to RFID technology, the car park recognizes the vehicle and opens the barriers automatically. This means that parking tickets, the hunt for spare change and the need to queue at a pay station are all a thing of the past.
“APCOA FLOW opens up an entirely new digital parking experience which is unique in this form: The combination of new services and a large number of car parks across the whole of Germany, combined with the open, central and scalable digital platform behind it, make APCOA FLOW the most comprehensive connected car offering in the parking sector. We are setting completely new standards for the entire industry,” said Philippe Op de Beeck, CEO of APCOA PARKING Group. The company is now planning to equip all of APCOA’s 300 or so car parks in Germany with APCOA FLOW, thereby making more than 230,000 parking spaces more easily accessible to customers throughout the country.
Parking becomes a seamless extension of individual mobility
“We are very proud to have created APCOA FLOW, a system that is, at launch, already the most comprehensive smart parking solution for car parks in Germany. With the app and platform, we are revolutionising our customers’ parking experience. Thanks to APCOA FLOW, parking becomes a seamless extension of the mobility experience for the very first time. With APCOA FLOW, we are offering our users more comfort, a greater sense of security and, ultimately, freedom and time for the more important things in life,” explained Detlef Wilmer, Managing Director of APCOA PARKING Deutschland GmbH.
Customers can download the APCOA FLOW app from both the Google PlayStore and App Store, register their account and order their personal APCOA FLOW RFID chip for their windscreen. It is this RFID technology that automatically opens a car park’s barriers as the car approaches. Every single parking process is precisely recorded by the system and charged to the registered credit card. Customers can view their accounts at any time, thanks to the system’s completely transparent overview of all parking processes.
The user begins by entering their destination, at which point the app quickly and intuitively displays the nearest APCOA FLOW car parks. Once the user has selected the most convenient car park, the app navigates them directly to their destination. APCOA FLOW makes it easy to park anywhere, even in a city the driver has little or no knowledge of. The app displays prices, opening hours and capacity of parking spaces in each car park, along with other useful information, such as accessibility, access heights and the availability of EV charging stations.
Wilmer sums up the app’s advantages: “APCOA FLOW makes parking quicker and more convenient: Simply park. No ticket. No cash. No stress.”
New partnerships, further functions and pan-European launch
Equipped with an API interface, the digital platform’s enhanced compatibility means that a large number of new services and partnerships can be launched in the near future. The first comprehensive cooperation agreement was concluded with sunhill technologies GmbH, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Financial Services AG (VWFS). As a result of this partnership, VW Group customers can now enjoy contactless entry and exit and automated payment processing.
“VW is the first automobile manufacturer to join APCOA on our strategic journey to the future of parking. Thanks to our RFID chips, customers' vehicles are networked with our car parks, which makes FLOW the most widely available, truly connected car service on the market,” added Op de Beeck.
APCOA is currently in talks with car sharing service providers, car rental companies and electric vehicle charging station operators. Parcel delivery services can also be easily integrated into the app, making the parking experience even more convenient. For owners who operate their own car parks and do not want to bear the significant investment costs of developing such a system themselves, APCOA’s innovative platform offers a future-proof digital solution.
At the same time, the company is working on expanding its own service portfolio. “And the range of functions offered by APCOA FLOW at launch is just the beginning – we have designed the system so that additional services can be easily added and flexibly integrated. This will allow us to continually expand the range of services we offer our customers, thereby ensuring that we are ideally equipped for the future,” says Philippe Op de Beeck, CEO of APCOA PARKING Group. Specifically, the reservation and advance booking of parking spaces, as well as the integration of barrier-free parking areas and street parking spaces are in progress.
Following the successful market launch in Germany, the system will soon be rolled out in other European countries, starting with Italy, then Sweden, Austria and Norway. By 2019, customers in each of APCOA’S 13 European markets should be able to use the new service.
Disruption in the parking industry: seizing the opportunity of digitalisation
“APCOA FLOW is our answer to key societal trends, such as urbanisation and digitalisation, and to the emergence of entirely new mobility concepts that are changing the economic fundamentals of the parking industry. The specially developed platform and app are the fruits of intensive collaboration with our German suppliers and an Indian start-up company. In conjunction with the open, centralised and scalable platform, the app is an important step in transforming APCOA PARKING into an even more customer-oriented company. Our goal is to help shape the future of individual mobility,” explained Op de Beeck.
The aim of the new system is to offer customer-focused services while at the same time contributing to the smart city ecosystem with innovative solutions to help meet the many challenges facing modern cities: from cutting CO2 emissions by significantly reducing the volume of vehicles searching for parking spaces, to controlling traffic flows and seamlessly integrating different forms of mobility using intelligent digital solutions such as APCOA FLOW.
For more information on APCOA FLOW, visit the website: apcoa.de/flow
APCOA PARKING Holdings GmbH
T: +49 711-94791-100
About APCOA PARKING Group
APCOA PARKING Group is Europe’s leading parking management company with more than 45 years of industry expertise. APCOA Group’s 5,000 employees manage approximately 1.4 million individual parking spaces at over 9,000 locations in 13 European countries. These include parking spaces at 1,800 city and shopping centre locations, 400 hotels, 150 hospitals and 58 European airports. With its consistent “asset light” business model, APCOA is a trusted partner for private and public real estate owners.
APCOA’s advanced IT platform is the interface between its car parks, business customers, partners, car drivers and their vehicles. Thus, APCOA is able to offer its business and end customers innovative services and products to improve the efficiency and comfort of their mobility experience. In addition to the company’s customers, these innovative services also create environmental benefits: APCOA actively contributes to reducing CO2 emissions in cities and at traffic intersections by reducing the volume of traffic searching for parking spaces with the aid of digital services and the company’s intelligent traffic management system.