South African capital city Cape Town has launched a 'smart parking app' which has been specifically designed to help motorists locate vacant parking spaces in the city. Cape Town is one of three capital cities in South Africa - and this innovative new solution is part of the city's overall objective towards becoming a 'smart city'.
Street Parking Solutions is the organization responsible for street parking in Cape Town, and the smartphone app which is entitled Park-Find is available to download on Android and iPhone handsets. Street Parking Solutions has confirmed that the application has taken two years to develop. Motorists can pay for parking through the application, or book their spot via the application and then pay the parking marshal directly.
Owner of Street Parking Solutions, Zunaid Loghdey stated: "This was a smart-city product. We were the first city in Africa, and one of three in the world that installed vehicle-detection sensors in every parking bay. That was the first smart city product. The aim of it was to eventually introduce this parking app."
He confirmed that the company does have plan to introduce the application in other cities across South Africa, although he stressed that Cape Town is currently the only city which has sensors already in place, with around 3000 installed and networked via Vodacom. He also declared that the application will go a long way to help alleviate the continuous problem of traffic congestion in the city.
"This technology will take you to an available spot without you having to cruise. It's a congestion buster and a CO2 buster, and it's also a massive time-saving application. I started working with vehicle-detection sensors in 2006, and this app was the logical progression. The digitization has allowed for these efficiencies."
However, he refuted claims that jobs were lost and where at risk due to the introduction of the 'smart parking app'. He concluded by saying, "We have not cut the parking marshal out of this thing. The parking marshal is intrinsically woven into this solution."