Twenty-year-old “near-airport” parking operator The Parking Spot is investing in mobile technology for substantial upgrades to the user experience. Now rolling out to its 39 locations at 22 airports is a mobile entry/exit service that means users need not fiddle with tickets or talk to humans. The company now has a nifty feature allowing users to see roughly how far away airport shuttles are. It’s also planning to list its inventory in global distribution systems.

The Parking Spot SVP for information technology Ron Rich said the new services are part of a strategic plan developed five years ago that started with an overhaul of all internal technology.

“Old” and “deprecated” systems had become more difficult to use and more costly, said Rich. The first consumer-facing technology built on the revamped internal platform was a new website, launched in 2016. Following that, the company released a mobile app that now offers a shuttle finder feature, using icons similar to Uber’s indicators for approaching cars. It’s based on the same GPS systems The Parking Spot’s operations team uses to monitor shuttle locations.

Now the company is enabling users to scan QR codes on their phones to open gates for entry into and departure from parking lots. The app integrates with payment platforms, utilizes negotiated rates and feeds expense systems including Concur, Certify and Expensify. Chrome River is due soon.

Rich said about half of the company’s locations are on this new system, with the remainder to be fitted by the end of next year.

A next phase of tech development includes enabling parking space bookings through GDSs. Rich mentioned Travelport.

The Parking Spot claims more than 3,000 corporate accounts.

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