Three CEOs of Parking Innovation: an interview with Mosstyn Howell, UbiPark
Welcome to part 2 of our three-part blog series featuring the CEO’s of our Parking Innovation Challenge incubatees. In part one, we spoke to Elizabeth Zealand from Spot Parking about the company’s journey throughout the challenge and, on a larger scale, throughout the industry as a whole.
In this installment, we sit down with Mosstyn Howell to discuss UbiPark, a company committed to making parking not only simpler and easier but also efficient and safe.
Mosstyn is the founder and CEO of UbiPark. Regarding the inspiration behind UbiPark, Mosstyn talked about empowerment of users and improving traffic congestion.
“The vision for UbiPark has always been to empower the world to travel smarter. By digitising the solution we allow the motorist to search, navigate, access and pay for parking directly from their smartphone.”
“By adding the parking transaction into a larger mobility and smart city ecosystem we can have a positive impact on traffic congestion now.”
Founded in 2013, UbiPark had already been operating in the Australian parking industry for seven years at the time of entering the Parking Innovation Challenge, where they pitched new functionality to further enhance the user experience for customers looking to park in Chatswood CBD within the Willoughby Council Local Government Area.
The new feature enables users to easily decipher complicated parking signs by simply holding their smartphone camera up to the sign and letting UbiPark provide information on whether you can park in the spot, how long you can park for, as well as view pricing information.
UbiPark has other interesting and exciting features on the way too.
“UbiPark is always innovating and assisting our customers to provide great customer experiences. The exciting feature after the street sign scanner will be the Car Play solution being developed with Porsche. This will allow the motorist to search, navigate, access and pay for parking directly from the incar screen. This will increase the safety and reduce accidents caused by parking.”
UbiPark relies on open data to operate, incorporating this information into their app in order to serve their customers.
“UbiPark has taken different data sets and develops solutions that will assist the motorist in their journey. By providing the information we can help the motorist make informed decisions that reduce traffic congestion.”
When asked about the main challenges faced by customers today in relation to parking, Mosstyn’s answer highlights that the parking industry has not been immune to new challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With CV-19 changing the world the main challenges we see for our customers are Public Hygiene / Zero Contact parking and flexibility to be able to share and utilise parking spaces in a remote working environment.”
“At UbiPark we had already developed and launched a Zero Contact (windows up) parking solution that provides our users with a CV-19 safe experience. We also developed our Agile Parking solution that allows Tenants and Staff to share parking spaces automatically. The Agile Parking solution allows spaces not being used to be shared via a private or public marketplace.”
Another challenge within the parking ecosystem is the fostering of relationships between parking companies like UbiPark, local councils, and Transport for NSW in order to continue improving the experience of parking customers through innovation and collaboration.
“The parking ecosystem is moving quickly with a move toward app and online based solutions. I strongly believe that a standalone parking app to complete a parking transaction will die. Parking is a service that fits inside the larger transport / mobility ecosystem.”
When asked what the ideal relationship between these three parties would look like, Mosstyn reflected on the inclusion of the motorist as a central part of success.
“We would like to work with TfNSW and forward thinking Local Councils to integrate parking services into these solutions. Including the Motorist in the solution is the key.”
Over the last few months, Mosstyn and the team at UbiPark have worked with the Open Data and Innovation team at Transport for NSW on the app incubation process as part of the challenge.
This process involves collaboration between UbiPark and Transport for NSW in several areas from app co-design and testing to media support and product promotion.
“UbiPark has had an awesome experience working with the Open Data and Innovation team. I appreciate the support and introductions through the challenge that has helped UbiPark with the successful release of the new functionality.”
Where would Mosstyn like to see UbiPark in five years time? “Integrated with every MaaS, connected car and smart property solution across the world.” Here at TfNSW we can’t wait to see that happen.