Friday, 21 July 2017 12:04

Crowd sourcing the beachside car park

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Right now, everybody is trying to crowd-source everything. In fact, there should be an app for crowdsourcing your crowdsourcing idea.

Share With Oscar is a new service that has been up and running for around six months now and endeavours to alleviate some of the stress in finding a park near a popular location.

The idea is a kind of Airbnb for car spaces. Those with a private car space that will be vacant at times, can make the space available to others via the Share With Oscar system.

Those looking for a space in the area can then book it for a fee. Those vacant private spaces you see whilst circling looking for a public park, can now be utilised efficiently.

“The pilot was launched in December last year over summer in Sydney's eastern beaches (where finding parking is notoriously difficult, if not impossible),” Share With Oscar co-founder Lisa Qi told iTWire.

“In fact, the idea came about from trying to find parking at Bondi beach, and after circling the block searching for more than 40 minutes, we ended up parking in a local resident’s driveway for the afternoon.”

“Australians waste 124 days of their lifetime searching for parking, NSW and Victorian motorists are fined $400M each year for parking infringements, and with only one space for every six drivers needing parking in metro areas, there simply isn't enough supply,

"We started Share with Oscar to solve Australia's parking problem by using the sharing economy - a sustainable solution to our growing urban cities, which puts money back into people’s pockets,

"We are creating parking supply with the infrastructure that already exists, saving drivers time and money, and allowing residents to earn a handy income. We are trying to take the pain out of parking, and in the future, wish the solution to be integrated into everyone’s journey, whether these shared parking spaces can be found in a dash, or whether driverless cars are navigated to these spaces, we don't want a minute more of our lives wasted on parking.”

Share With Oscar has now been live for six months. The app integrates with Google Maps allowing users to book a parking spot and instantly navigate to the exact location.

“It is proving very popular, for both drivers and those with a car space,” says Qi “We are seeing on average 60 per cent month on month growth, with virtually zero marketing spend. By nature of the novel concept, we get a bit of PR interest, as well as word of mouth.”

Crowd-sourced systems such as Uber, AirTasker, Airbnb and so forth are very popular, if not mainstream these days, but of course there are questions that need to be asked.

How are disputes such as overstaying a spot, or driving up to a rented spot to find it is already full due to scheduling mistakes on behalf of the owner?

“When a user has overstayed their booking, and have been reported either by the next driver who booked the spot or by the spot owner, the overstayer is penalised with a fee for each hour overstayed and the person who is inconvenienced is compensated.” Qi told motoring.com.au.

“Incidents can be reported instantly via the app, and our customer service team will look into the incident and resolve it, and provide a refund where appropriate.”

Despite the possibility of these kinds of frustrations, customer feedback has largely been positive.

“In terms of our customers, drivers enjoy the convenience and price. They can find a parking spot instantly at their destination without wasting time searching for parking, it's cheaper than commercial parking lots, and parking meters and they don't need to worry about two hour time limits or parking fines. Drivers know that it's a safe private parking space (and don't have to worry about it getting dinged),” said Qi.

“Spot owners meanwhile earn a handy passive income from sharing their space, and can use what they earn from their parking space to park using the Oscar app, essentially, offsetting the cost of parking.”


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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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