Around 2,100 exhibitors and almost 45,000 visitors made for record numbers at this year’s Expo Real. Representatives from politics and business discussed the challenges of future urban developments – and possible strategies to overcome them. This was the subject of the panel discussion “How do we want to live? New mobility concepts as an integral part of sustainable neighbourhood development”, which featured Frank van der Sant, CCO of APCOA PARKING Group among its panellists. Find out more in the interview in this issue.
Some of the possibilities presented in the interview arise from the ongoing digital transformation of APCOA PARKING. We are focussing on a scalable digital platform and the creation of new customer-focused services, such as our APCOA FLOW app. The ticket-free, cashless and stress-free parking experience is now being rolled out internationally and has already won over 100,000 users. Further information can be found in our Case Study.
We have also continued our internationalisation with a new national subsidiary in Luxembourg. The newly opened Royal-Hamilius multi-storey car park in Luxembourg City has enabled us to add an outstanding property in the heart of the city to our portfolio, which also inspires with its artistic appeal. Find out more in our latest news.
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Your Philippe Op de Beeck
The art of parking in the heart of Luxembourg
In September, APCOA entered an exciting new market with the Royal-Hamilius multi-storey car park in Luxembourg. In cooperation with the City of Luxembourg and CODIC, around 630 modern and secure parking spaces have been created in the city centre. Philippe Op de Beeck, CEO of APCOA PARKING Holding, and Detlef Wilmer, Managing Director of APCOA PARKING Deutschland GmbH, were joined by high-ranking representatives of the city at the opening ceremony. The mayor of Luxembourg, Lydie Polfer, personally cut the ceremonial red ribbon. The inauguration was also attended by Patrick Goldschmidt, the alderman responsible for mobility, and Serge Wilmes, first alderman and responsible for economic development and trade. Their presence underlines the importance of the new parking facility to the city of Luxembourg. Royal-Hamilius boasts a unique blend of office, residential, gastronomy and retail, including the renowned French department store, Galerie Lafayette, which was recently named Retailer of the Year at MAPIC 2018. There are more attractions in store for visitors to the new multi-storey car park: Each of the six underground parking levels was designed by a different artist, transforming the multi-storey car park into an art gallery. Yet another reason to visit the new Royal-Hamilius car park.
From the analogue into the digital world
The development and roll-out of APCOA FLOW has not only introduced a new service, it also marks the beginning of the digital transformation of our company as a whole, from an analogue parking space manager to a digital service provider. The app has already been successfully launched in four countries – Germany, Italy, Denmark and Norway – in a record time of just six months. Preparations are already underway to launch the app in Sweden and Austria and other national companies. Behind all this is an API-based digital platform that offers completely new possibilities in the development and marketing of mobility services.
More than 100,000 customers are now using APCOA FLOW and enjoying the benefits of ticket-free, cashless and stress-free parking. The service is constantly being improved and expanded to meet customer requirements. Among other things, the app allows direct interaction with users – and thus enables us to adapt our offers precisely to their wishes. In response to specific customer requirements, Italian users of the app have been able to pay for roadside parking since the beginning of November. In addition, business customers in all markets now have the option of creating a business customer profile in addition to their private user profile, which means that they can easily include parking fees in their travel expense reports. As an additional function, retailers can now give their customers discounts and vouchers via the app once they have made purchases in participating stores.
The scalable data platform underpinning the app creates a number of exciting opportunities, including strategic partnerships with other companies. For example, stores and companies can now make special offers to their own customers. And there are benefits for APCOA, too. For example, thanks to our cooperation with sunhill technologies GmbH, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Financial Service AG, APCOA FLOW is being offered to all drivers who lease Volkswagen Group vehicles.
How do we want to live?
This was the title of the panel discussion at this year’s Expo Real, which addressed “new mobility concepts as an integral part of sustainable neighbourhood development”. Frank van der Sant, COO of APCOA PARKING Group, spoke about the future of mobility and was joined by Dr. Carl Friedrich Eckhardt from Urban Mobility Competence Centre of BMW and Hagen Kühn, ubitricity Gesellschaft für verteilte Energiesysteme mbH, and other experts in the field.
What is the future of parking space management and the future of mobility?
Future-oriented parking space management sees car parks as mobility hubs, combining parking with various logistics and mobility functions. For example, car parks can be used as bases for transferring from one mode of transport to another, i.e. from a car to an e-bike. Or as stations for charging different electric vehicles. This also makes multi-storey car parks interesting platforms for entire car-sharing fleets. Or as delivery points for parcels – which can be placed in a car’s boot using a unique access code, or stored in a collection station. All these services are made possible by our scalable digital platform, which is also the basis of our APCOA FLOW app.
To what extent does the digital platform also create the basis for potential cooperation with other panel participants?
Thanks to the platform’s API interfaces, the possibilities are almost unlimited. Just in relation to the companies involved in the discussion panel, it would be possible, for example, to integrate the APCOA FLOW app into the infotainment systems of car-sharing vehicles. This would allow drivers to benefit from our full range of services – be it navigation to the nearest multi-storey car park, ticket-free entry and exit or cashless automatic billing. Multi-storey car parks can also be used to charge electric vehicles. In this context, we discussed the need for a particularly small and affordable system socket for charging. This would enable us to offer significantly more charging stations – and to charge for electricity consumption via APCOA FLOW. This could also be combined with attractive bonus systems. Thanks to the digitalisation of our systems, we are creating a wide range of possibilities.