Tuesday, 29 May 2018 15:06

UbiPark launches Australia’s first 'live on-street parking availability service'

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Does trying to park sometimes elicit the "crow call" that Graeme Kennedy made famous back in 1975? Well good news, finding parking spots has left last century and has arrived in 2018 with UbiPark.

The lack of a good car parking space may well have carked-it with the arrival of UbiPark, billed as now offering a "first-of-its-kind app feature" that will "help motorists save time and decrease congestion in cities".

Debuting in Melbourne's CBD, where hook turns make circling the city streets even more non-circuitous than circularly possible, UbiPark promises you'll need to "circle no more as live on-street parking availability is now available through smart parking app".

So, how does it all work?

Well, by using the City of Melbourne’s open data platform and on-street parking bay sensors, the UbiPark app "enables motorists to see live on-street parking availability in real-time, helping them locate a parking spot before they even leave the house".

The app provides details such as "pricing, restrictions and hours of operation, so motorists can select their ideal parking spot".

And, once a parking spot has been selected, the motorist is guided to the available parking bay using turn-by-turn navigation.

Of course, given the fact the app can tell you if a spot has been taken, should your chosen parking spot be snapped up by someone else before you get there, you'll presumably be directed to the next available free parking spot.

If that's the case, you'll have to hope you get there before some other enterprising driver gets there before you do, too, although as the app works with actual car parks as it has from the start, you're not limited to on-street car spaces if all the relevant spots are gone before you finally make it into the CBD.

Mosstyn Howell, founder and chief executive at UbiPark, said: "Finding a car parking spot, particularly during peak hours, in Melbourne can be a daunting task.

"Often motorists will circle trying to find a space with the right restrictions in the right area, which can cause congestion issues within the CBD.

“We want to make it as simple and easy as possible for motorists to find a car park. Using real-time information, provided by Melbourne City Council, we can help direct motorists from their home to their destination easily, whilst helping to reduce congestion, stress of trying to find a spot and CO2 emissions.”

Through the app, we're told that "motorists are able to access detailed parking information near their destination, such as maps of all on-street and off-street parking bays, number of total bays, whether the bays are available or occupied, pricing and parking restrictions".

Howell added: “Melbourne is the first city in Australia that has enabled us to take advantage of their parking information to provide a much needed service to consumers. But, we want to help motorists across Australia find the perfect park.

"We are calling on other forward thinking areas to open up their parking data to benefit from improved traffic flows within urban areas, whilst connecting motorists to the best parking spaces,” said Howell.

You can download UbiPark from the App Store or the Google Play Store.

At its App Store page, the description is as follows:

"Take the hassle out of car parking and make your next journey stress free. UbiPark allows you to search & navigate to a car park with ease, avoiding any traffic congestion. Be shown on-street parking bay availability & related restrictions, while opening hours and rates are displayed for off-street car parks. For selected car park partners, access and pay all from your smartphone!"

Use UbiPark to:

  • SEARCH for the best available car park in your current location or final destination. Looking for on-street parking? Be shown rates & related parking restrictions. Travelling to an off-street car park? Be provided with rates, opening hours, height restrictions, pictures of the car park entry & more!
  • NAVIGATE to your selected car park using turn-by-turn directions. Avoid any traffic congestion with a live traffic data feed. Convenient and easy to use, take the hassle out of parking.
  • ACCESS allows registered parkers to enter and exit the car park, using just your smartphone.
  • PAY via the smartphone app. For selected car parks, enter, exit and pay all from your smartphone for a true windows-up parking experience.

New features for Version 3.2.0 on iOS released on 19 May include:

  • We now have "nested" entries and exits in UbiPark car parks. That means UbiPay can be used for sections within a car park. (E.g. Staff parking or early-bird).
  • We allow pedestrian doors to be opened by the app (UbiPark car parks only).
  • There is now a "Billing Options" page in the settings. This allows UbiPay users to add and delete credit cards to their account.
  • When sending a notification for upcoming appointments, we make sure that we don't send them too often.
  • A number of minor bug fixes and improvements. These most notably include:
  • UbiAccess interface cleanup.
  • Fix to start scanning immediately after logging in (there was an occasional issue if the internet connection was slow).

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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