Park One and evopark have been partners since 2014, making Park One a partner from the very beginning. Park One manages 30 garages in Germany and continues to be on a growth path. Their primary goal is to make parking a pleasant experience. They are well on their way to doing so, as business magazine brand eins included Park One in its annual list of Germany’s most innovative companies for the first time in 2019. The parking garage operator with garages in Berlin, Munich, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt, among others, currently already has 17 parking garages connected to mobility CONNECT, with more to follow. Andreas Mahnert-Lueg (CEO) and Sebastian Taraz (Director Business Development) explain in an interview why Park One decided to extend the cooperation agreement with evopark and what digital plans and ideas they have for the future.
Why did you (continue to) choose mobility CONNECT?
Digitization is one of the essential trends of our time and the parking industry is not exempt from it. evopark with its range of services was one of the first providers of digital solutions in the German parking market. As an innovative operator, we always want to be up-to-date in order to offer our customers the best service and have therefore worked with evopark from the very beginning. mobility CONNECT is the logical evolution of the original product and offers the leading interface to all relevant mobility providers – enabling us to provide as many customers with a contactless and stress-free parking experience as possible.
Where is the digital parking journey headed at Park One?
A major next step will be the nationwide expansion of parking facilities with license plate recognition (LPR). This technology will enable greater flexibility for our customers, e.g., through pre-booking of parking spaces or personalized offers. Other innovations such as autonomous parking will also become more and more established, and we look forward to the opportunities and challenges presented by new technology.
To what extent has Corona changed the parking industry? Do you see the current crisis as more of a challenge or perhaps also as an opportunity to make parking more digital?
Economically, COVID is a huge challenge for the industry. Lockdowns, home office, and online shopping, etc. are fundamentally having a negative impact on our frequencies and sales. However, there is hope for a certain post-crisis catch-up effect: the desire to socialize when working, shopping, eating out, going to the movies, etc. is something existential, primal, that most people have been missing out on far too much in recent months.
Technologically, COVID has acted like an accelerator – digital, online-based solutions help avoid contacts. New processes are now established and here to stay. Park One has taken the opportunity to upgrade nearly all of its pay stations to NFC payment (ApplePay, GooglePay, credit card). With mobility CONNECT, we can even offer our customers completely contactless parking.
Park One has now been in business for 10 years – we would also like to congratulate you on this anniversary! What goals have you set yourself for the next 10 years and what are you focusing on in particular?
We want to continue to grow steadily, but in a sustainable way. This means establishing further sites in our existing regions and new attractive clusters, provided we believe in the success of the project. Our primary aim remains to make parking a pleasant experience. With personal and friendly on-site service, we want to remain the provider with the highest customer satisfaction. We also want to continue to be innovation and technology leader in the industry, developing new solutions with leading manufacturers and innovative startups to be the first to introduce such solutions. With various partners, we already offer multimodal solutions for connected mobility. But we want our garages to act even more strongly as mobility hubs for their respective neighborhoods. We also take our ecological responsibility seriously – we want to be part of the solution, and our contribution includes in particular avoidance of parking search traffic, energy-saving operation of the garage, and an expansion of the electric charging infrastructure.
In addition to parking facilities, you also offer charging options for e-vehicles and bike rental. What is the motivation behind this and how is the offer being received?
The number of registered electric and hybrid vehicles in Germany is rising rapidly, whereas the expansion of the charging infrastructure is slow. This offers an opportunity to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. If the customer knows that he can charge his car at Park One at fair conditions, they will accept a few more steps or use one of our bike or e-bikes for the last few kilometers.
Are there any new developments surrounding our contract extension? Are more parking garages to follow, for example?
We will introduce mobility CONNECT across all of Park One’s parking garages.
Which of our services are you most excited to implement in the future?
evopark is already offering solutions for license plate recognition – when it comes to rolling out this technology, we would like to expand our cooperation even further.
Thank you very much for the interview! We are very much looking forward to further cooperation in the coming years.