A startup laid its initial siege over a decade ago with the idea of mapping the complex parking landscape of some of the major cities in the world. The software was created with the agenda of mapping all car parking options in a single view, giving users full liberty to park their cars in the desired locations.
Parkopedia has been an exemplary parking mobile app whose CEO Eugene Tsyrklevich has come forth with a breaking news at the Techworld. He revealed some great insight into how far the platform has come in terms of data science. And he also revealed why he believes it is a great idea to have his finances on helping car manufacturers overcome the challenges of autonomous parking.
At the event, Eugene spoke:
“When the company started, big data didn’t exist, the iPhone had just launched, deep learning as a term didn’t exist, so we couldn’t have predicted any of this stuff. What we did know was that parking was and still is a problem. Fundamentally we still allow people to find and pay for parking around the globe, but how we do it and go about itis changing and continues to change.”
What is Parkopedia & How Does the App Works?
Are you searching for a nearby parking lot to park your car? Well, with Parkopedia, you can find the closest parking destination to park your car. In open areas, finding a parking spot is a whole lot easier but when you are moving on a busy street, finding a parking space can truly become a hassle.
Parkopedia not only helps you discover the nearest spot to park your car, but it also fills you in on the minor details, such as how much the parking area will cost and whether space is available or not. You can also pay online for your parking spot beforehand through your Parkopedia app while sitting in the car.
Parkopedia provides parking space for vehicles like Volvo and Volkswagen. It is pre-installed within Apple’s iOS maps app, and hence, you may have already used it, but you aren’t aware of it.
Taking a Step into the World of Data Science
Recently, Parkopedia has realized the greater benefit of collected data which they have accumulated since the year 2007. Parkopedia has successfully collected information from various car parks to dynamic data sets from installed APIs. The collected information includes capacity, address, height restrictions, opening hours, pricing, etc. The data also comes from sensors fitted to barriers and traffic flow information.
They started their venture by conducting ground surveys and taking various images of car parks. Such information is then stored in racks on on-premise servers. With the passage of time, Parkopedia has evolved its server usage and is now storing information in the Amazon Web Services. There is a ton of information in petabytes pertinent to parking, which is present in the cloud infrastructure, and more than a million images along with several other forms of dynamic data feed are available from partners.
Experts at Parkopedia startup have developed predictive algorithms which help drivers identify the availability of a parking spot way before they reach their destination. The CEO at Parkopedia explains that the sensors installed at the car parking area are capable of predicting availability to 95 percent accuracy.
Eugene Tsyrklevich clarifies that the parking industry is not an accurate market and when it comes to deploying technological infrastructure, it becomes rather difficult to put the pieces in the puzzle.
“The reality though is that most car parks don’t have that because it is expensive. Particularly for street [parking] there isn’t a huge appetite from local authorities for this, so we have to fall back on other data sources.”
Eugene has nurtured some sophisticated relationships with car manufacturing industries and has now become capable of collecting information from different navigation systems installed in various vehicles.
He further states:
“That data is already used to create traffic maps. We are using the same data from the same systems but instead of working out how quickly they are moving we work out how they are moving, so are they circling an area to find a space? We use that to figure out if there is a space available or not,”
What is the Future of Parkopedia?
The future of Parkopedia is now focused on Autonomous Parking.
“While everyone is concentrating on the exciting and hard part of navigating a motorway or a city, very few companies today are talking about what happens when a vehicle gets to the destination and what happens then,” he said. “That for me is where we step in and grab this last mile, or 500 meters, of routing after you are dropped off.”
Basically, Tsyrklevich has an end-goal of making Parkopedia a data sourced autonomous vehicle parking app. There are several places where there is no GPS coverage, such as parking lots of malls or underground parking areas, and here, parking can really become a cumbersome task. Parkopedia is an app designed to easily navigate a user to the desired parking space without Internet connectivity or GPS.
This idea was shown by Parkopedia on a Volkswagen and was exhibited at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held at Las Vegas.
Sharing his two cents on the project, Parkopedia’s COO Dr. Hans Puvogel stated:
“The self-parking car of the future will need excellent data to find the right parking spot, transaction capabilities to book and/or pay for it and indoor navigation capabilities.”
Parkopedia is capable of creating a 3D map of an inside of a parking garage as deep as calculating measurements in centimeters. It not only maps the parking floor but also ramps, walls, and pillars. The car, which is pre-installed with sensors, automatically navigates its way to the parking space in the same exact way as it would’ve on a GPS and then park at the right spot.
AlthoughParkopedia is a huge project; it still shows quite a potential for vehicle industries.
“We are continuing to work on the autonomous valet parking but we need to work out when the car industry is ready.”
“This is a huge project, we have proven some of the concepts but it is a massive area trying to figure out how to do this better and at scale, not just at one car park but across 75 countries.”