IoT implememted in Boom Gates for Parking

Parking and the Internet of Things – Grant Fowler, CEO of DIVVY

26/03/20

Picture this. It’s 7.30am on a Tuesday. You jump in the car, setting out on your commute to work. Your car or your phone provides you with a warning about an earlier accident on your usual route and guides you on a detour specially designed to avoid the banked-up traffic. Once you arrive at the carpark, the boom gate lifts as you approach – no pull ticket or access pass necessary. Your credit card will be automatically charged based on the length of your stay and frequency of visits. You’re then directed by your car or phone to the nearest available car space, one that is guaranteed to be the right size for your big electric SUV. Getting out of the car, you approach the lift as the doors open. There’s no need to rush – the lift knew you were coming and it’s waiting for you.

This is what our mornings will soon look like, thanks to the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that describes a totally interconnected world. It’s a world where devices of every shape and size are manufactured with ‘smart’ capabilities that allow them to communicate and interact with other devices, exchange data, make autonomous decisions and perform useful tasks based on pre-set, but adaptable, conditions. It’s a world where technology will make life richer, easier, safer and more comfortable.

The Internet of Things is simply the logical next step in an evolutionary process. The fact is that the technological building blocks of the IoT—including microcontrollers, microprocessors, environmental and other types of sensors, and short range and long-range networking communications – are already in wide-spread use today. The IoT, which provides a platform for acceleration of the rate of development of existing technologies further, simply adds one additional capability – a secured service infrastructure – to the evolving technology mix. Such an infrastructure will support the communication and remote-control capabilities that enable a wide variety of Internet-enabled devices to work together, resulting in scenarios like your commute described above. And it is big business – a study by McKinsey estimates that the IoT will contribute between $40 – $100 billion to the Australian GDP by 2025.

Life with the IoT contributes to the rise of ‘smart cities’. A smart city uses data and technology to improve the lives of the citizens and businesses that inhabit it. The ‘smart’ in smart cities is about the ability of numerous interconnected devices to collect data derived from our actions, reactions, journeys, preferences, wants and needs, the products we buy, the services we use, the places we go to and the places we don’t go to, and deliver this data to a cloud location. That data is then distributed to analysts or AI-enabled servers that process the data, draw conclusions and deliver an improved life experience back to us. 

There is no shortage of discussion on the possibilities presented by the IoT. From smart buildings to home automation, from fitness trackers to connected gyms and from info-bots at airports to border security search and discover, there are myriad ways our lives could be changed by the mass use of interconnected sensors embedded in everyday objects.

From the perspective of parking, the IoT solutions offer real benefits. Ultimately, it means that people will spend less time in cars. This will contribute to an uplift in productivity and will give people more leisure time. Fewer vehicles on the road means a reduction in traffic congestion, which means fewer accidents and less stress. It also means less pollution. Additionally, less time spent circling looking for a car park means less vehicle emissions.

So, we see that individual customers as well as the greater community benefit when parking is enhanced by the IoT. But what can the IoT offer building owners? Data. And with data comes insight. The days of installing ‘dumb’ parking access control devices are numbered. Property owners are already realising data streams about visitors to other parts of their buildings thanks to IoT integration, and they rightly expect the same level of insight from their carpark.

Car parking in the age of the IoT has the capacity to offer a rich stream of data relating to building tenants and visitors and their habits and needs. This can give our property owner customers the ability to build-to-demand and to design the buildings of the future – truly smart buildings.

As a tech-based company, DIVVY considered how to best deliver our products into the smart cities environment and soon realised that smart cities need not only best-in-class tech devices, but the connectivity that only IoT platforms can provide. We made the choice to build our complete parking access control platform and hardware management software solution in the Microsoft Azure IoT platform. Microsoft’s Azure IoT operating system provides an unprecedented level of security for IoT connected devices.

We have also released a new input / output controller built with a Microsoft Azure Sphere IoT chip included as the secure core of the device. We’re proud to say that this world-first controller was designed and developed in-house at DIVVY here in Australia. We recently released the new device at Microsoft’s IoT In Actionconference in Auckland, which we attended in conjunction with our partner Avnet, a global leader in electronic components, services and embedded solutions. DIVVY is Microsoft’s very first Australian partner to provide an IoT turn-key product with an embedded Microsoft Azure Sphere IoT secure chip.  

What is the likely impact on the parking industry as a result of IoT development and the continued advance of smart cities? In a word – collaboration. If other industries are a model for us to consider, then it is likely that in the future each parking company will narrow its focus to its specialty skills – whether they be hardware, software or other – and collaborate with other existing companies in the sector who can provide the complementary skills to make up the whole package. 

This may seem unlikely at present as we all rush to protect our market share in the existing environment. However, if we look at the auto industry in the US or Europe, the global aircraft industry, or almost any of the transport industries across the world, we find that major contracts are supplied by collaborative partners that each provide the element that they do better than others and together, they deliver to the customers’ expectations.

Today’s consumer has an unprecedented level of choice. Smart phones and tablets provide access to mapping and aggregation platforms that hand power to the consumer when selecting their transactional partner for every dollar they spend. User experience and customer journey are already the judgement criteria for the goods and services we, as members of the parking industry, provide.

The parking industry’s ability to seamlessly integrate with all of our customer’s touchpoints will depend on our ability to evolve, collaborate and embrace the IoT platforms that will enable us to become an integral part of the core infrastructure of the smart city and an asset to the smart populace.

DIVVY & Justbooked Banner

A message from DIVVY’s CEO on COVID-19

19/03/20

I’m sure you’ve been hearing from a lot of your businesses and suppliers you work with this week regarding their plans for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and things to be aware of. And although this can feel overwhelming, we’re also aware that the more information people have in times like this, the more people are aware and informed of how they can make conscious decisions for their own health and well-being.

At DIVVY and Justbooked, we have implemented a couple of policies that we want to make you aware of so that you have the information you need as one of our building owners, parkers or listers.

We currently have no staff who have reported a COVID-19 diagnosis, however as we feel a strong sense of responsibility for all of our staff and customers we have taken all reasonable measures to protect them in these uncertain times. We have implemented a 14-day quarantine policy from Wednesday 25 February 2020 for all staff who had traveled overseas or were living with people who had traveled overseas. Since actioning this policy, we’ve had some of our people working remotely but this has now been escalated and from Monday 16 March 2020, most of DIVVY’s staff have been asked to work remotely where possible.

Our staff are being encouraged to change external meetings to video conferences unless required to be onsite and those staff who are required to travel to site are following up with contractors and suppliers on their building policies for COVID-19 before travelling to these sites to ensure they’re working a safe environment.

What does this mean for our customers? Right now, this should not have any impact on the services DIVVY & Justbooked provide and we’re working as hard as possible to ensure we deliver our best service for you during these times. We’re taking measures to protect our staff from the spread of infection and we want you to know that our team is working with our building owners and listers everyday to keep up to date with their policies that they’re following to offer a safe and healthy workplace and car park for their building visitors.

If a building reports a case of COVID-19 we will inform all our DIVVY Users who have had bookings in the previous 30 days to ensure they’re notified immediately and can action their own plan. We’ve already had to undertake this process for two buildings that DIVVY offers parking and are monitoring for any future cases.

We thank you for your understanding during this time and if there’s any questions you have about any of this please feel free to touch base with any of our DIVVY or Justbooked team members who will be more than happy to assist.

For further information, please contact Kat Fowler, DIVVY’s Marketing and Communications Manager at kat@divvy.com.au

Boral Group Office in Triniti Business Park in North Ryde, Sydney

Data is key to more efficient parking for Boral

16/03/20

Building and construction materials group, Boral, is using data supplied by the DIVVY Enterprise parking management system to increase efficiencies and flexibility at their North Ryde office.

Triniti Business Park in North Ryde, Sydney, owned by Stockland, is home to a number of blue-chip companies, including Boral Australia’s New South Wales head office and shared services. Stockland installed DIVVY access controllers at Triniti to help their tenants manage staff parking as easily and efficiently as possible.

Looking to recoup costs associated with parking space leases and optimise staff parking, Boral was quick to move to the DIVVY Enterprise system in September 2019 to better manage their 220 parking spaces. Similarly, Downer EDI, another naming tenant in Triniti Business Park, has taken on DIVVY Enterprise. You can read about the way they use DIVVY Enterprise here http://bit.ly/39l43Q5.

DIVVY Enterprise’s real-time, detailed and accurate reporting was the key to Boral’s increased efficiencies. Boral wanted to establish whether their leased car parking spaces were being used to their full potential. DIVVY Enterprise’s utilisation reporting gave Boral a clear picture of how their parking spaces were being used.  The data provided an accurate insight into how many parking spaces Boral needed to meet its staff parking needs and how utilisation could be improved based on staff working hours and needs. As a result, Boral now leases 35 fewer parking spaces at the North Ryde office, while still meeting its staff parking needs.

DIVVY Enterprise allows Boral to manage its staff parking in nuanced and incredibly efficient ways. Boral has established parking groups in the DIVVY system based on staff parking needs. By managing groups with different DIVVY features, Boral can ensure that a wide range of staff parking priorities and needs are met.

Boral Land and Property Group, Australia- Office in Triniti Business Park, North Ryde, Sydney

For example, Boral has a parking group to manage the parking needs of staff who work part-time or who visit the North Ryde office less frequently. Some of these staff create DIVVY accounts and self-book their parking from an allocated pool of parking spaces. Others in this group can access parking from the same pool of spaces through the Book on Behalf feature, managed by Boral administrators, which emails the parker a QR code to access their parking.

A particularly practical feature is that the number of parking spaces assigned to each parking group is managed by Boral’s administrators, meaning that parking spaces can be reallocated from one group to another when required. This detailed level of parking management provides Boral with flexibility and efficiency.

DIVVY Enterprise has also saved Boral’s facilities staff time and effort. Prior to the implementation of the DIVVY Enterprise system, Boral’s facilities team was routinely required to liaise with their Triniti Business Park neighbours in order to resolve issues when staff from other companies incorrectly parked in Boral’s bays.

Now, with DIVVY Enterprise in place, a member of Boral’s facilities team simply contacts the DIVVY support team, who has access to the relevant groups and the driver and vehicle details for all users signed up to the platform. The DIVVY Parking support team can then contact those drivers who have mistakenly parked in the wrong bay.

The more tenants in the business park who implement the DIVVY Enterprise system, the more powerful this function becomes. Triniti Business Park’s two largest tenants, Downer Group and Boral, are both DIVVY users, and thus much time and effort has been saved in this way.

Brian Tasker, National General Manager, Boral Land and Property Group, said: ‘The DIVVY Enterprise parking management system has given us the data and reporting we needed to better understand the parking utilisation and requirements at our North Ryde office. Through the use of DIVVY Enterprise, we have been able to consolidate and streamline our parking and provide greater flexibility and efficiencies for our business.’

For further information, please contact Kat Fowler, DIVVY’s Marketing and Communications Manager at kat@divvy.com.au.  

Electric vehicle charging in the station

Australia’s Electric Vehicle Future

04/03/20

The future of cars is electric. And it’s closer than you might think. Electric vehicles already comprise 56% of the market in Norway and 25% in Iceland. Britain recently announced a ban on new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles from 2035. Car manufacturers are embracing the change, with Mercedes-Benz ceasing development of combustion engine vehicles to focus on electric vehicles. Honda has confirmed that they will no longer produce petrol cars in Europe from 2022 and Volkswagen are planning to cease production of petrol cars entirely after 2026.

With the international manufacture of internal combustion engine vehicles in decline, and no car manufacturing industry of our own, Australia’s electric vehicle future is in no doubt. New figures from the Electric Vehicle Council show that sales of electric vehicles in Australia tripled in 2019, whilst sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles fell by 7.8% in the same period. Despite this increase, electric vehicle sales in Australia were still far lower than in a majority of developed countries, comprising only 0.6% of our market (compared to 15% in the Netherlands or 4.7% in China).

Unlike in the EU and China, the Australian electric car market has not received governmental incentives or support. Despite this, government analysis last year predicted that even without policy support to spur change, half of new cars sold in Australia in 2035 will be electric vehicles. Australian drivers clearly consider the reduced environmental impact of electric vehicles worth investing in.

Electric vehicles are currently more expensive than their internal combustion engine counterparts, and it is expected that there will be a rapid uptake in Australian electric vehicle ownership once their price becomes competitive. The falling price of lithium-ion battery packs is the key factor to achieving price parity with petrol vehicles, and the cost of batteries has been steadily falling since 2010 thanks to global investment in electric vehicle battery production. Bloomberg predicts that price parity will occur in 2025 and electric vehicles will become as cheap as their petrol equivalents.

Elctric Car on road

Another barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles thus far in Australia is ‘range anxiety’, with a lack of public charging infrastructure limiting the uptake of electric vehicles. Groups such as Infrastructure Australia, the government’s independent infrastructure advisor, have been calling for the expedited roll-out of a national charging network to ensure a seamless transition to an electrified transport sector.

The NRMA  recognise the direction in which the industry is heading and have positioned themselves at the forefront of the electric car’s future. They have committed $10 million to build one of Australia’s largest electric vehicle fast-charging networks, comprised of more than 40 chargers across regional NSW and free to use for NRMA members. Meanwhile, the transport industry awaits the government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy, due to be finalised in mid-2020.

At DIVVY we have an ethos of future thinking, and are developing exciting, cutting edge technology to improve peoples’ lives and drive sustainable practices. Here at DIVVY we are excited for the electric vehicle revolution and are actively investigating how best to position ourselves to facilitate this seismic shift in the transport industry and how we can support our current and soon to be electric vehicle-driving DIVVY users.

We look forward to playing our part in Australia’s electric future. For further information, please contact Kat Fowler, DIVVY’s Marketing and Communications Manager at kat@divvy.com.au