How Ford is Making Paid-For Parking Easier in Russia

MOSCOW, Russia – Ford and ParkApp have announced the launch of a parking search and payment service integrated with Ford SYNC3 via Applink. Drivers of Kuga, Explorer and Mondeo models will be able to plan routes to municipal on-street parking lots, airport car parks and the shopping mall car parks using a smart parking platform called ParkApp.

Developed in Russia, ParkApp will allow users to significantly reduce time spent searching for parking spaces, and also automatically make payments for parking.

Studies show that drivers in megacities typically spend up to 20 minutes searching for a parking spot.  By connecting a smartphone with the installed ParkApp application to the SYNC 3 system, Ford owners will see the nearest parking space on the system's built-in display, and directions of how to get there on the integrated navigation system.

After arriving at the parking spot, ParkAPP can pay for parking using an automatically generated SMS (charging the mobile account) or a bank card. If necessary, the parking session can be ended before its scheduled time or extended if the time is up. The application is controlled by a touch screen and/or voice commands.

At commercial, gate regulated parking lots such as those found in shopping malls and airports, payment must be made by scanning a bar code or manually entering the number printed on the parking ticket.

However, in the near future, the payment process will be fully automated. The License Plate Recognition camera will read the license plate and after the “ParkApp Pay” platform validates its user, the parking session will automatically start. The same sequence is used to finish the parking session and charge the user’s credit card upon leaving. There’s no need for the driver to have a parking card or leave the car to make the payment.

This service will be available at airport parking lots, shopping malls, lots and garages as well as in the fast food drive-thru chains like McDonalds. In the future, with an integrated ParkApp Pay IoT-platform (Internet of Things), all the payments from the Ford cars will be fully automatic.

A unique feature of the app is an intelligent algorithm for "smart" search and prediction of vacant parking spots, designed to predict the user behavior and intentions to leave the parking even before one gets into the car. On the map ParkApp shows not only free places, but also spaces being vacated.

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