Parking spaces are a rare commodity in city centers. For drivers, the search for a vacant parking space is time-consuming and costly. The annual exhaust emissions generated while people look for a place to park is estimated to amount to 1% of global fossil fuel emissions. The Berlin startup and CODE_n finalist ParkTAG is trying to solve this problem with an app-based community.
Where did your idea for the company come from?
On average, urban drivers spend 7 minutes looking for a parking space, up to four times a day. A car spends 95% of its lifetime in a parking position. Drivers looking for a place to park cause a staggering 30% of urban traffic. The battle for parking spaces is a worldwide problem. It seemed really odd that this parking issue still hasn’t been solved since the technology is there. The communities are also there. It was just waiting for someone to do the hard work of putting the technology and the communities together.
For which kind of audience is your product or service intended and what problem is it solving?
All urban drivers who live in a city where there are parking problems. But also local authorities, transportation services and app providers can use this technology to detect vacant parking spaces.
Thanks to ParkTAG, drivers will be able to find a spot to park more quickly, saving them time, money, fuel and stress.
Tell us a bit about the company’s founders like their professional or industry background and the origins of the founding idea.
Silvan Rath, ParkTAG’s CEO initially set up ParkTAG because he kept forgetting where he’d parked his car… It soon became apparent that the same technology could be used to crowd-source parking occupancy. The technology (patent pending) can reduce urban traffic by up to up 30%. Every year emissions related to parking searches amount to an estimated 1% of global fossil fuel emissions. ParkTAG GmbH was founded in the heart of Berlin in May 2014 to solve this.
Silvan founded an e-learning startup while he was still studying for his economics degree. Over the last 10 years he has worked for the American corporations Cisco, Comscore and eBay. While still at eBay, he recently set up and ran the enterprise sales business.
Your solution seems to be highly dependent on the number of users who take part in the ecosystem. How will you tackle this problem? Will users derive benefit by checking in and informing the community that they’re vacating a parking spot?
It’s true that we have a certain dependence on the number app users. The application is based on community principles. Help me to find a parking space today and tomorrow you can find one thanks to me or another member of the community. For users, sharing information about the availability of parking spaces become automatic, especially because they don’t need to do anything special to share the information. The app detects when a user is about to vacate or has just vacated a parking spot. But later on this year our plan is to introduce a credit system to reward users who contribute actively to the community.
See ParkTAG live on the CODE_n Stage on Wednesday, 18.03.2015.