Urban centres anywhere in the Klang Valley will more often than not be congested with motorists plying the roads, and eventually vying for the same limited number of parking spaces. To that end, a smartphone app endeavours to ease some of the hassle of parking – enter ParkEasy.
“The inspiration for this app came from our common experiences wasting time looking for a parking space.” said Warren Chan, CEO of ParkEasy (above). The smartphone app started in August 2014 as Park ‘In, and operated for a year before rebranding to ParkEasy, coinciding with the app’s first commercial site, Sunway Pyramid.
Initially, the parking lot installation included a digital board stating the vehicle registration of the Parkeasy user who had booked the lot using the app, but that was short-lived as other, mainly non-ParkEasy-using patrons at the shopping centre’s carpark were disapproving of the system’s implementation. If you frequent Sunway Pyramid, you may have noticed the temporary presence of these digital boards over a few selected parking lots.
This led to the revamp of the ParkEasy system to the one today, where the app does away with the location’s digital boards, and instead relies on in-app booking of the app users’ parking lots. There are two main functions; one for the parker, and one for the leaver.
For parking, users select the mall and then the area of parking they prefer from the drop-down menu, fill in vehicle details for recognition, and then press the “Search for parking” button. Conversely for leavers, users select the location details of where they are parked, input vehicle details for recognition, and then press the “I’m leaving” button. Should users want to contact the corresponding parker or leaver, in-app calls can be placed via VOIP, with no phone numbers displayed for privacy.
Every new app user is started off with 10 credits, and each use for parking will cost the user three credits, and each use for leaving a parking space will earn the user three credits. If it seems unneccessarily costly to pay an additional sum for a helping hand in finding spaces, the app user should effectively be charged nothing if he or she uses the app for both parking and leaving in equal frequency, said Eric Tan, chief technical officer of ParkEasy (pictured with phones, above).
Should its users need more credit, topping up can be done in-app in denominations of 10, 20, 30, 50 or 100 credits at RM1 per credit, plus a transaction fee of RM2. Currently, ParkEasy runs in beta in order for its developers to test their system’s ability to handle mass exchanges. Coverage is limited at the moment, with parking lots of just two shopping centres listed in the app’s drop-down menu: Sunway Pyramid, and Mid Valley.
This list is set to grow, however, and the team will also consider broadening the scope to cover outdoor public parking spaces in commercial areas, such as SS15 in Subang Jaya, as well as parking lots in other shopping centres. ParkEasy is available on both iOS and Android mobile operating systems, from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store respectively.
Watch the videos below to see Parkeasy in action, in the roles of both the parker and the leaver.