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

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.

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

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A message from DIVVY’s CEO on COVID-19

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.

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Australia’s Electric Vehicle Future

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.

The future of cars is electric.

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.

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.

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How DIVVY Enterprise can generate revenue for your business

DIVVY Enterprise is helping businesses across Australia manage their staff parking with maximum efficiency and minimum fuss. Discover how it can also provide your business with an effortless new revenue stream.

Is your carpark always half full? Once the DIVVY Enterprise parking system has streamlined the management of your business’s car parking, it can become apparent that your parking assets are in excess of your requirements. DIVVY Enterprise offers the opportunity to list excess car parking spaces on the DIVVY Marketplace. When parking spaces are listed on DIVVY Marketplace, they become available for booking by others outside your existing parking pool – at a price.

DIVVY Enterprise gives you the control to set the parking product and the rate charged, and the car parking space instantly becomes available to be booked on the DIVVY app. It’s an effortless new revenue source.

Importantly, DIVVY Enterprise offers the utmost in security by allowing you to control who has access to your valuable car parking inventory and when. The Premium Pass options allow you to exercise discretion around who can access the parking spaces you list on DIVVY Marketplace. Choose to open your car parking bays to be booked only by specific people or groups, or all DIVVY users.

For example, businesses may choose to make their car parking spaces available only to other tenants in their building, thus eliminating building access issues. Or they might choose to open the parking spaces to all the existing employees of your business, allowing the entire workforce beyond the current parkers to park onsite at a price.

Alternatively, you can choose to make your car parking bays bookable by all of DIVVY’s 65,000 Australian users for maximum revenue generation opportunities. You set the available times, whether it be weekdays only, or weekends, or specific dayparts or for special events. You control precisely when the parking spaces are available for booking, and by whom they can be booked.

Listing your car parking spaces on DIVVY Marketplace does not mean additional work for you and your team. Thanks to the DIVVY app and DIVVY’s state-of-the-art access controller technology, DIVVY Enterprise offers a seamless parking experience for both car park operators and drivers.

The DIVVY Enterprise real time system integrates bookings, payments and access into one seamless inventory management platform. Not only does the DIVVY Enterprise system save car parking managers and administrators time and hassle, but drivers too. Drivers book and pay for their parking via the DIVVY app and access the carpark using QR code or personalised pin code technology, enjoying an easy, frictionless car parking experience.

Should troubleshooting be required, DIVVY offers support to all parkers and businesses 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year via phone, live chat and email. DIVVY customer support staff have access to operate boom gates and roller doors, meaning real solutions for parkers and saving property and facilities teams time and effort.

For further information about how DIVVY Enterprise can help your business generate new revenue from your existing car parking assets, please contact Kat Fowler, DIVVY’s Marketing and Communications Manager at kat@divvy.com.au.  

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Australian parking technology is gaining interest overseas

The largest parking organisations operating in Australia today are foreign-owned entities. In contrast, DIVVY is 100% Australian owned.

As an Australian business, DIVVY is making a positive contribution to Australia’s urban communities by providing smarter parking solutions, and to the country’s economic development and prosperity too.

Most of DIVVY employees are based in Australia, which means Australian jobs, but it also has another very significant implication – the development of Australian-owned world first technology. DIVVY is unique in the Australian parking landscape in its focus on the in-house development and creation of new technology and is constantly developing innovative new technologies. These include the award-winning DIVVY access control devices, the DIVVY payment solution and the new parking aggregator – Justbooked.

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) is lending support to DIVVY’s vision to export its market -leading technology to the world. Austrade is Australia’s lead government agency for international trade promotion and investment attraction and their Smart Cities initiative is behind DIVVY as it takes its technology to the global marketplace.

DIVVY is receiving interest in European markets, with parking technology companies looking to DIVVY to offer an alternative Smart Cities focused solution for their parking needs. DIVVY access control equipment is an inexpensive solution with little impact on capital works budgets and easy for any electrical contractor to install. DIVVY’s parking solution is attractive to the leaders in the parking and property industry, not just in Australia but globally.

DIVVY is actively engaged in partnership discussions with parking equipment suppliers and parking operators in several European cities including Prague, Vilnius, Cluj and Riga. Of special interest is the work that DIVVY is doing in the IoT space, which to date, has had little impact on the parking industry but is critical to the integration of bookable assets in the Smart Cities environment.

The contribution of Australian owned and operated DIVVY to both smarter cities and local economic growth is clear, both now and into the future. Watch this space!

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

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Case Study staff parking

Making parking simple for GenesisCare

Leading healthcare group GenesisCare are focused on supporting their staff in their important purpose: designing innovative treatments and care for people with cancer, heart disease and sleep disorders. They are improving the small details, like parking, to enable their people to concentrate on their vital work. That’s why they chose DIVVY Enterprise to manage the staff parking at their Australian national office – when elements like parking are simple and seamless, people are free to focus on what is important.

When Dexus rolled out DIVVY’s parking management system at their property The Mill at Alexandria in June, GenesisCare also came onboard with DIVVY. GenesisCare’s Australian national office comprises of the largest tenancy at The Mill, with 55 of the property’s 130 parking bays on their lease. Dissatisfied with the user experience of their previous parking management system, GenesisCare are now using the DIVVY Enterprise system to manage all their staff parking needs.

DIVVY Enterprise’s additional features include ‘Free Up My Space’, whereby employees with assigned car spaces can free up their space for others to book when it is not in use, and ‘Book on Behalf’, allowing parking to be booked for visitors or other employees. DIVVY Enterprise also makes it possible for companies to charge their staff for parking, managing the entire process from booking to payment. 

Property & Facilities Manager at GenesisCare, Hoani Tainui said:

“The ease and simplicity of the DIVVY user experience is what initially attracted us to the system. As an organisation, we are undergoing a period of rapid growth, so it is absolutely imperative that we get the right systems and processes in place at our head office in Alexandria.”

GenesisCare are the first Dexus tenant to implement the DIVVY Enterprise system for staff parking management.

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

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Bookable Assets

DIVVY and Dexus join forces at The Mill

DIVVY has once again teamed up with leading real estate group Dexus, this time at their unique heritage property The Mill at Alexandria. The DIVVY parking management system was rolled out at the property in June to facilitate tenant parking.

The Mill is a 1.9-hectare mixed use multi-tenanted property comprised of a mix of modern and refurbished historic buildings in Alexandria, NSW, with warehouse style offices, retail spaces and 130 car parking bays.

It is home to a diverse range of tenants, including GenesisCare, Bendon Lingerie, Seafolly, Under Armour and iconic South Sydney eatery The Grounds of Alexandria. The DIVVY parking management system was chosen by Dexus to facilitate tenant parking due to its ease of use. DIVVY’s market-leading access controllers, which use a QR code reader, allow tenants’ staff to scan in and out of the car park without fuss or delay.

DIVVY is now the preferred parking management system in 11-Dexus-owned properties nationwide, with more to come soon.

For further information, please contact sales@divvy.com.au.

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Case Study staff parking

How DIVVY Enterprise helped Downer Group with smarter, better parking

The closure of the local train stations presented a challenge for Downer Group’s Sydney head office – and DIVVY’s Enterprise product provided the perfect solution.

Downer’s head office, located in North Ryde, is home to more than 800 employees, with 40% of it’s workforce commuting by train. When it was announced that the Macquarie Park and North Ryde train stations would close temporarily for the Sydney Metro Northwest rail link construction, Downer’s management team immediately recognised the problem this would create for their employees. They needed to keep morale high and ensure employee retention in the face of this challenge, and DIVVY Enterprise’s new market-first ‘Free Up My Space’ feature was the clever, flexible solution they were looking for.

Implemented from the first day of the rail line closure, the DIVVY Enterprise feature ‘Free Up My Space’ allows Downer employees with assigned car spaces to free up their space for others to book. With only a third of employees having assigned car spaces, the DIVVY solution has opened up a new way to get to work for the rest of the workforce.

In the initial stage of operation on average 40-60 spaces (of the company’s 360 spaces) were freed up and booked each day. With parking such a highly prized asset in North Ryde, and never more so than after the rail closure, making parking available to more employees has had a huge impact on morale at Downer.

The benefits of DIVVY Enterprise go even further. Downer have been able to eliminate physical access cards for their car park, with DIVVY providing precise real-time reporting on who is entering and exiting the car park. In the initial stage of operation, DIVVY’s 24/7, 365-days customer and tech support solved 100% of Downer’s queries within 24 hours. This all means reduced administration and maximum efficiency for Downer.

Derek Yen, Head of Procurement, Property and Security at Downer said,

“We are delighted to partner with DIVVY to deliver a better experience for our employees and help take the hassle out of parking.

Through DIVVY we’re able to optimise our car park by driving higher utilisation whilst offering our people a more flexible parking option.

Prior to installing DIVVY’s technology, we managed our parking manually, so it has been a real time saver. This means our teams and people can easily allocate, book and free up spaces in real-time, supporting flexible work options.”

Downer Group are now reviewing DIVVY Enterprise for their remaining offices nationwide.

For further information on this, please contact our sales team at sales@divvy.com.au