Stuttgart, 19 September 2019 - APCOA PARKING has won the European Parking Award (EPA) for the rollout of an ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) based parking management system in Norway, providing a seamless customer journey connected to the innovative APCOA FLOW app. The first place in the "Innovative schemes in parking" category has been awarded today to APCOA during the 19th EPA Congress in Malaga, Spain.
The EPA has been established by the European Parking Association as a biennial award for excellence in parking. The EPA Awards are designed to set standards, demonstrate the high quality of parking structures and services and to encourage operators to provide good services throughout Europe.
ANPR Solution for APCOA PARKING Norway
Today APCOA FLOW provides the most sophisticated parking app and loyalty program in the market, including employee and partner parking integrations. In April 2017, APCOA PARKING Norway started one of the largest rollouts for an ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) based parking management systems in Europe. Since then the system was implemented at 104 off-street parking locations including car parks at 30 airports across Norway. Further locations are currently being equipped.
The new system was primarily introduced to offer customers a faster and more convenient parking experience but also to reduce the number of parking hardware for cost reasons and to optimize revenues. In addition, it is seen as a long-term investment to future-proof our sites for autonomous driving and parking.
Seamless customer journey with ANPR and APCOA FLOW app
To make full use of the system, customers download the APCOA FLOW app and register a user profile including their credit card data. The app can navigate the driver to the chosen APCOA site. The customer enters the car park seamlessly without stopping at a barrier or pulling a ticket. Instead, ANPR cameras detect the license plate and the parking session is started. The customer receives a notification on his smart phone and can look up information about the current as well as past parking sessions in the app. When exiting the car park, ANPR cameras again detect the license plate and the parking session is ended. The customer again receives a notification on his smart phone and payment happens automatically. In case of any issues a customer service center is available 24/7 at 365 days a year.
"Removing barrier systems, P&D machines as well as traffic islands and introducing new payment methods has significantly improved the user experience. Customers benefit from a constant traffic flow and a ticketless entry and exit as well as automatic payment. So no time is wasted anymore queuing in front of the barrier for tickets or at the payment machine and exposure to harsh weather condition at surface car parks is minimized," said Rune Feltman, Managing Director of APCOA PARKING Norway.
Alternative payment methods available
But payment can also be done without the download of an app and registration. In that case, the ANPR system detects the license plate and puts it on a whitelist. Before leaving the car park, payment is done at the payment machine, entering the license plate. A grace period is granted to leave the car park comfortably and the system again detects the license plate and the parking session ends. If payment at the payment machine is forgotten, late pay can be made online within 48 hours. After that period an invoice is being sent including an administrational fee. That ensures that no customer will receive an unpopular parking fine.
About APCOA PARKING Group
APCOA PARKING Group is Europe's leading parking operator with more than 45 years of industry expertise. With its 5,000 employees, the company manages approximately 1.5 million individual parking spaces at over 9,500 locations in 13 European countries. These include parking spaces at 1,800 city and shopping center locations, 400 hotels, 150 hospitals and 58 European airports. With its consistent "asset light" business model, APCOA is the trusted partner who maximizes value for private and public real estate owners.
Via its open digital platform APCOA FLOW, the company connects on-street and off-street car parks with clients, partners, customers and their vehicles. Based on this technology, APCOA is transforming its car parks into mobility hubs, offering innovative services that enable a more convenient mobility experience. The environment also benefits: with its digital services and intelligent Traffic Management System, the company actively contributes to the reduction of emissions in cities by decreasing the volume of traffic searching for parking. By connecting parking and mobility, APCOA is positioned to become an integral part of the Smart City.
· Car park of the future to be central element of the smart city
· Electric mobility and digitalisation in car parks provide citizens with diverse services
As electric mobility continues to gain momentum, it is also changing the requirements placed on transport infrastructure in our cities. This involves the expansion of the charging network and new digital offerings for customers throughout Europe. Car park operator APCOA and energy company innogy intend to develop joint solutions for designing mobility centres of the future, with both companies having signed a declaration of intent. In essence, the companies will focus on equipping car parks with charging infrastructure for electric cars, digital customer contact and the joint development of new services and business opportunities.
APCOA is Europe's leading car park operator with the most extensive portfolio in its industry. In the area of digitalisation of car parks in particular, APCOA is regarded as a pioneer. "We are delighted to have found innogy as a strategic partner with whom we can play a major role in the transformation of transport in cities. With around 1.6 million parking spaces at approximately 10,000 sites in 13 European countries, we have a solid foundation for interlinking parking facilities and sustainable urban mobility. Together with innogy's experience in the area of electric mobility and an extensive digital service portfolio, we will be able to provide different customer groups with tailor-made services in future," says Philippe Op de Beeck, CEO of APCOA. For property owners, this represents an attractive solution for transforming their car parks into smart mobility hubs, which support the drive towards comprehensive electric mobility in urban centres and thus become a central point of interest.
innogy has been leading the way in the electric mobility sector for more than ten years. During this time, the company has installed more than 34,000 charging points at customer premises in Europe, the USA and Canada. The project is expected to expand the infrastructure. "Car parks play an important role in the energy transition in cities as well as in the expansion of electric mobility and the public charging network. With photovoltaics on roofs and façades, battery storage and intelligent energy management systems, the car park of the future has the potential to become an energy centre. There is also the option of using car parks as locations with digital infrastructure. With the project, we are taking a look at the city of the future and showing how digitalising infrastructure and expanding electric mobility could improve people's quality of life," says Hildegard Müller, Director of Grid & Infrastructure at innogy.
As an initial step, APCOA and innogy plan to equip APCOA car parks with intelligent charging infrastructure that is compliant with German calibration legislation. Innovative processes and digital systems will be interlinked to simplify finding and reserving parking spaces and charging points, concluding the charging process and paying for a parking space and electricity collectively. The ever expanding networking and digitalisation of common services is expected to create brand-new business models and offerings in future. The car park of tomorrow will be an integrated hub of movement and transport, where delivery stations for packages as well as charging options for electric cars, scooters and bicycles will be provided, in addition to parking spaces for cars and bicycles, rental bicycles and electric car sharing.
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About innogy SE
innogy SE is a leading German energy company, with revenue of around €37 billion (2018) and around 43,000 employees. With its three business segments Renewables, Grid & Infrastructure and Retail, innogy addresses the requirements of a modern, decarbonised, decentralised and digital energy world. Its activities focus on its about 22 million customers, and on offering them innovative and sustainable products and services which enable them to use energy more efficiently and improve their quality of life. The key markets are Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as several countries in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe. In renewable power generation, the company is also active in other regions, e.g. Spain, Italy, the USA and Australia, with a total capacity of 4.0 gigawatts. As a leader of innovation in future-oriented fields like eMobility, we are represented in the international hot-spots of the technology industry such as Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and Berlin. We combine the extensive expertise of our energy technicians and engineers with digital technology partners, from start-ups to major corporates.
About the APCOA PARKING Group
The APCOA PARKING Group is Europe's leading car park operator with more than 45 years of industry experience. With around 5,000 employees, the company manages approximately 1.6 million parking spaces at around 10,000 sites in 13 European countries. This includes parking spaces in around 1,800 city and shopping centres, 400 hotels, 150 hospitals and at 58 European airports. With its systematic asset light business model, APCOA is a reliable partner that maximises property value for private and public property owners.
The company links street parking spaces and car parks with corporate customers, partners, drivers and their vehicles via the open digital platform APCOA FLOW. In doing so, APCOA is turning multi-storey car parks into mobility hubs with innovative services to create a convenient mobility experience. It is also good for the environment: By offering digital services and using an intelligent traffic management system, the company is actively helping to reduce the number of cars searching for spaces and emissions in cities. APCOA is becoming an integral part of the smart city by combining mobility and parking.