le to Curbside assets are too valuab
simply be used
for single, private-use parking, and asset owners need to be
more innovative in their thinking around asset utilization. The Philosophy of a Startup The philosophy of a startup is to test things before they are ready with customers, a view which often does not sit well with government risk appetites, but can often be managed successfully through targeted communication and test groups. The greatest value to a startup is having the product tested in a live environment and seeing if we are solving the problems we think we are. Many cities and universities don’t realize the unique opportunities of partnering with a startup or emerging technologies. Beyond the benefits of working in an agile and often breakthrough way, there are many private and government incentives to support cities and universities to partner with emerging tech, including grants, live labs and smart city alliance projects. It is important to note that procurement documents and specifications are often written in isolation of emerging technology and are out of date by the time the tender is written. While pilots are a great way to experiment, it’s important to consider: What happens if this goes really well? What is the future path forward that doesn’t stop the momentum? One barrier to effective engagement with startups is the decision-making time cycle and the lack of emerging industry consultation. Cities and universities that are most successful are proactive with tech communities, startups, incubators and smart city communities and get out of the building, actually using their own products and services and learning from these experiences. Elizabeth experienced the get-out-of-the-building phenomenon rolling out a Sydney-wide transport ticketing system cutover. After endless assurances that the technology was in place and working, she traveled around on the rail network using it herself—only to find several glitches not previously surfaced! It is surprising how often people don’t use their own technology as a customer, or even try and find information from their own websites. Don’t leave it to the technologists or product managers to improve your product—walk through your business in the customers’ shoes regularly.
Create Proof of Value Opportunities Innovation challenges and projects can hold immense value if they are constructed to be leveraged for multiple use (such as smart cities, health and university campuses, airports and the like), and include open-data applications and learnings to inform larger procurements. It is important for large, established companies providing transportation services to look at collaboration with startups 38 PARKING & MOBILITY / MAY 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG
to add value to their existing contracts, as they often don’t have a team size (or the current capacity) to conduct specific and unique projects. Rather, a more viable option is to outsource and drive a project with startups, as these small to medium-sized enterprises can deliver key parts of projects much quicker re: the speed of execution. For many, now is the time to engage in these types of initiatives. The U.S. is in a unique limbo state, not quite open entirely, yet bracing for new changes in driver habits, mobility, and parking demands. Procurement strategies that drive collaboration with startups include: ■ Innovation KPIs in existing contracts. ■ Live labs & hackathons. ■ Innovation proposals. ■ Unsolicited proposals. ■ Be the willing customer for tech vouchers, MVP, grants, test beds, pilots. ■ Industry collaboration—can the “usual suspects” partner with new and different resources. ■ Shared infrastructure—within and without cities and universities. As they say, you don’t know what you don’t know and you won’t always find the best solution through traditional procurement. A fresh perspective through the lens of a startup could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Pillars In the past 12 months, we have seen numerous developments within the industry of parking and mobility. Change is occurring rapidly due to technological developments, a growing demand for sustainability and the pressing need for flexibility. The future of parking and mobility not only promises of innovations that will ease the ordeal of parking for the user, but also promises a bright future of possibilities to thrive for the parking provider. Three emerging pillars for parking and mobility: Frictionless—contactless, end-to-end solutions where parking spaces can be pre-planned and pre-booked, with driver guidance to the space, and paid for digitally. Sustainable—increase in curb usage for mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) strategies to reduce single private vehicle use, and use of parking as a carrot for EV usage and rideshare. Connected—integration of different technologies through IoT for better prediction, analytics, and real time-data.