Save-a-Space is a cloud-based mobile marketplace developed by Accelogress Limited that allows users to book in real-time parking spaces in cities. The Save-a-Space app provides a personally-tailored parking selection process in order to reduce users’ stress in finding parking spaces. The app allows users to easily book, pay and navigate to their selected parking spot. For parking operators, the Save-a-Space application allows for better parking management.
Save-a-Space was one of the 4 winners of Innovate UK’s Urban Spaces contest, receiving £35,000 in prize money. “With ever more people living in cities and other urban areas, it is essential that we continually look for innovations in the design and use of urban spaces”, observed Matt Sansam, lead technologist and programme manager for IC, “and each of the winners are clearly innovators in their fields and have provided an exciting solution to their different challenge areas” (Source).
During the frontierCities acceleration programme, Save-a-Space has been successfully trialled in Guildford, in collaboration with the Guildford Borough Council and is now focusing on the Park and Ride (P+R) offering for the train stations in the West Midland region. With a population of 4 million and spanning an area covering Shrewsbury, Worcester, Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Dudley, the region has 60+ Park and Ride sites and more than 7,500 spaces.
In partnership with the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Save-a-Space will be trialling at a number of P+R sites located around Birmingham. “The trial starts in a couple of weeks and will provide pre-bookable spaces at each trial car park”, explains Save-a-Space CEO Ralf Kernchen, “and will take advantage of a real-time automatic number plate recognition, provided by a partner company and powered by FIWARE technology (FIWARE Context Broker and Cygnus) in the Save-a-Space platform to provide live parking information to drivers switching from car to train at the P+R sites”.
The Save-a-Space app has also been customised to allow train users to plan their parking ahead of their journey, with the option of selecting a connecting train departure time and receiving useful information on the train stations on their routes. “Throughout the trial, we will be providing WMCA with vital end-user insights for car park usage and thus Save-a-Space will make possible new management scenarios to optimise park and ride usage, and improved communication of parking space availability to drivers”, says Kernchen “and this will allow Save-a-Space to contribute to reducing traffic impact around P+R sites in town centres in a way that has so far been impossible”.