Elan Mosbacher is SVP of Strategy & Operations at SpotHero, the largest digital parking company in North America. A start-up veteran, Elan has held roles across marketing, business development and general management at tech and venture capital companies, including Sandbox Industries and DialogTech. You can find him on Twitter at @mosbacher and on LinkedIn here.
The parking industry holds tremendous potential; in the US alone, it’s valued at $30 billion. But it’s been slower to adopt modern technology than other travel verticals, like airlines or hotels. Surprisingly, 30 percent of all parking transactions are still in cash.
In 2011, SpotHero set out to digitize the parking experience for drivers and parking operators. How? With an API platform that allowed operators to share inventory and drivers to reserve parking spots online based on their end destination. But the industry has remained largely untouched by AI.
Most garage operators determine prices manually based on competitor pricing and many maintain static rates despite frequently fluctuating demand. Parking pricing systems should be dynamic, like the market—but until now, that hasn’t been possible.
With 10 years of data on where, when and how people want to park in relation to garage occupancy, traffic and weather, SpotHero has developed an AI platform, called SpotHero IQ, that can determine optimal pricing for a parking garage at any given time. Now, in contrast to the static pricing of the past, AI is enabling dynamic pricing models that improve inventory management and set the fairest prices.
While some industries have been resistant to tech transformation, parking managers have been fairly open to AI adoption because there’s evident business value in creating a more streamlined, dynamic parking process. Already with SpotHero IQ, a parking operator in Austin saw a 89 percent lift in revenue, while one in Chicago saw a 76 percent lift in revenue.
Most importantly, SpotHero IQ will provide greater visibility into rates and occupancy for any given garage. With data-driven insights, parking operators can now guarantee they are pricing appropriately to maximize profits for their spots. At the same time, drivers always know exactly where they’re going to park, how much they will pay and why.