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How This Singaporean Start-up is Bringing Parking into the Digital World

SurePark aims to reduce the time you search and wait for a parking spot by 90%

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BY Ezra Ferraz - 30 May 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

While the ridesharing wars may dominate tech headlines, companies are also trying to disrupt how we park our vehicles. One such company is SurePark out of Singapore.

“Finding parking is a nasty problem that affects almost everyone who drives. Dig a bit deeper and you find that it is a multi-billion dollar industry globally that operates the same way as it did 50 years ago,” says Neil Mehta, SurePark co-founder and vice president of business development.

SurePark began as a product at a hackathon and later evolved into a complete solution involving both hardware and software. Mehta says that they developed SurePark with drivers in mind.

“It aims to reduce the search and wait time to find an available parking spot by 90%. This is achieved by navigating drivers precisely to a vacant lot within a carpark via the SurePark smartphone application,” he says.

The value proposition for carpark operators is that SurePark is an end-to-end solution.

“We also understand the needs of carpark operators and owners ergo they do not want a solution that is comprised of separated and disjointed pieces of technology that are commonly and cheaply available. Unlike other apps and platforms, SurePark provides a vertically integrated solution that we deploy and maintain and upgrade,” he says, noting that their platform helps them monetize their parking spots and “bring parking into the digital world.”

Singapore as a smart city

The biggest technical challenge in developing an end-to-end solution came on the hardware, rather than software side. “Developing hardware requires higher capital, more expertise and is quite complex,” Mehta says.

SurePark is free for drivers; the platform monetizes from carparks where it has a broad target market. “SurePark is a global ‘plug & play’ solution that can be installed in indoor, outdoor, and on-street carparks. Our market is crowded cities across the world that are choking as a result of traffic, exacerbated by the difficulty in accessing parking,” he says.

To convince carparks around the world to sign on, SurePark is banking on its successful use case in Singapore. “As part of the Singapore smart nation program, we are rolling out our solution across areas in Singapore with dispersed parking spaces, all of which will become SurePark enabled. We are looking at similar precincts across other cities where SurePark can truly benefit the local community,” he says.

As for future plans, Mehta says they want to build an entire ecosystem around the parking industry.

“This essentially means that we won’t just be navigating drivers to their lots but also improving the way payments are done and greatly enhancing customer service by offering automated physical reservation for parking lots. The products in our pipeline will be targeting these two key areas,” he says.