The future of the car park will be as a facility that provides more than space to store vehicles, predicts APCOA Parking. The European car park operator has developed a concept called APCOA Urban Hubs that will act as focal points for last-mile deliveries and access to electric vehicle charging.
The company says that the owners of car parks will be able to develop and implement their own business models within each Urban Hub. Car park owners will also benefit from embedding their properties in the digital urban ecosystem and gain access to APCOA’s network of strategic partners, including automotive technology and driver information service providers such as Bosch, Daimler and HERE Technologies. which will give access to the physical and digital infrastructure of APCOA.
Customers will, in turn, benefit from an expanded range of services and products on offer at car parks.
APCOA Urban Hubs will form an integrated ecosystem of Smart City and Smart Mobility services and actively contributes to the sustainable transformation of urban areas and the reduction of CO2 emissions, says Philippe Op de Beeck, chief executive of APCOA Parking Group.
“Urban Hubs is APCOA’s answer to some of the greatest trends of this day and age: the significant growth of online and on-demand commerce, which drives demand for inner-city logistics space, increasing urbanisation and the rise of electric mobility,” says Op de Beeck. “The digital and on-demand economy, especially in the field of mobility and logistics, needs a physical basis and a smart and flexible infrastructure. With more than 11,000 sites we have created Europe’s largest network of digitally connected car parks. Our hubs combine parking with logistics and technology services, shared mobility platforms and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles – and are already making a major contribution to creating the smart cities of the future.”
There is great potential to create a large network of urban hubs across the British Isles, says Kim Challis, APCOA’s regional managing director for UK & Ireland. “Over the next few years, we want to continuously expand our UK and Ireland network into several hundred APCOA Urban Hubs,” she said. “For our car park owners, our expertise creates value by enabling a sustainable strategy that has a positive impact on the long-term value of their assets. In the UK and Ireland, we are engaged in promising talks with a large number of potential partners. All of them appreciate our high location density and the fact that over 20 million customers are reachable around our properties.”
APCOA will be focussing on locations that offer the greatest potential for improving the efficiency of last-mile logistics, which it says will improve inner-city logistics traffic and, as a result, contribute to substantial reductions in CO2 emissions.
By increasing the provision of electric charging infrastructure, APCOA says the hubs will also actively support the transition to electric mobility.
Challis says: “The APCOA brand has long been synonymous with the consistent implementation of a comprehensive digital and innovation strategy. In 2017, the UK and Ireland business launched APCOA Parkway, its multi-award-winning, scalable platform that provides its partners with integrated, contact-free access to car parks via individual interfaces. As a result, we are very well positioned to meet the challenges associated with evolving parking space usage and the requirements of all sectors, including retail, rail, airports and local government. It is only by anticipating and actively helping to shape fundamental economic and societal processes that we will be able to successfully adapt to and benefit from these changes.”
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