Startups respond to state’s Grand Challenge to solve Bengaluru’s traffic

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Finally, someone seems to be working towards solving the traffic woes of the Silicon Valley of India. This comes immediately after Priyank Kharge, Karnataka’s IT, BT & Tourism Minister, launched a Grand Challenge initiative on September 5 under the State Startup Policy. The Grand Challenge focuses on solving the traffic menace in the city by encouraging innovation in technology.

Two days later, Bengaluru-based startup ParkZebra Technologies launched ParkZebra, its vehicle parking app, which is a technology platform for parking services, aimed at reducing the city’s parking problems. The app allows you to search, reserve, and pay for parking spots in advance at designated places.

The app will allow car drivers to reserve parking spots at various parking facilities, malls, business parks, and office spaces. ParkZebra has partnered with different properties across the city namely: Brigade Towers, UB city, 1MG mall, Lido mall, Gopalan mall, St John’s Hospital, Electronic city Phase-I. Upcoming properties include Vega mall, Forum Koramangala, Forum Whitefield, Mantri Square –Malleshwaram and Colombia Asia Hospital.

“This will allow drivers to save time and fuel while providing convenient parking services.  The app also offers its users the ability to find parking spaces that may or may not be affiliated with ParkZebra, giving drivers the widest range of options,” the company said in a statement.

In Bengaluru, ParkZebra has over 10,000 parking spaces on offer. The firm also plans to take its services to other five metros in phases, starting with New Delhi. In about a year, it aims to touch all the six metros in the country. Secure Parking, a car parking operations company in India, has come into a strategic partnership with ParkZebra in order to provide on-ground support at the various ParkZebra locations.

According to ParkZebra, their value proposition for its clientele is assurance and convenience. The user simply has to open the app to find a parking spot nearby or search for a spot in the area needed. After reserving a parking spot, the user must drive the car into the parking place provided. In the case that the user is required to wait before attaining the spot, a ParkZebra professional will valet park the car and place the key in a predetermined location for the user to pick up.

The app also boasts other features that assist in parking, such as:

My Vehicle Gives users the ability to save multiple vehicle information
Where is My Car? This facility provides the user with the exact GPS location of where their car is parked in order to make it easier to find
Referrals System by which free parking hours can be shared and received through referrals with friends and family

 

Speaking about the app, Uday Maitra, Founder, ParkZebra Technologies Pvt Ltd said, “The inception of this service is aimed at curbing the parking problems that have plagued the city. By simplifying the process of parking into 3 steps of Searching, Reserving and Paying, we aim to provide an easy and convenient solution which can be adopted by all citizens. These are initiatives that we need to take up in the process of becoming the ideal smart city”

T.N. Pratap, co-founder, ParkZebra Technologies said that the app leverages Internet of Things (IoT) technology by communicating directly with the parking structure’s infrastructure. “In the future we see total integration between devices in the vehicle, pocket and parking lot,” he says.

ParkZebra will also provide businesses in and around the parking spot with the ability to reach out to its users and offer them various deals and discounts. Through this, ParkZebra users can nullify the cost of parking.

In India, very few startups are directly solving the traffic problems. There are of course startups like Ola and Uber which indirectly help manage traffic by their car pooling/shared ride options. Mumbai-based startup TransitPedia focuses on making daily commute hassle-free by providing travellers with information on the most efficient way to reach their destination. Shuttl, H2O, Zipgo, and Cityflo are bus aggregating platforms which again indirectly solve some traffic problems. But, the need of the hour is, more startups which are focussed on directly solving the traffic menace with the help of innovation and technology.

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