ParkMobile and VoltDelta Deliver Speech-Enabled Parking Solution

VoltDelta OnDemand Solutions is providing the voice recognition for a cashless parking solution from ParkMobile in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The first of its kind deployed in North America, the service allows visitors to use their cell phones and credit cards instead of pocket change to pay for parking meter use.

Callers initially register by calling ParkMobile’s toll free number, speaking their license plate number and credit card information. Once registered, they simply dial-in to indicate the zone in which they are parking. The system identifies callers by cell phone number and allows motorists to receive text message alerts prior to meter expiration.

According to Terry Saeger, SVP and GM of VoltDelta OnDemand, ParkMobile—which has a number of similar deployments outside of North America—was looking to expand and chose to work with VoltDelta because of the company’s proven hosting capabilities, carrier-grade solution, flexibility, security, and multi-channel capability.

“VoltDelta offered a unique range of converged communication services required by ParkMobile, eliminating concern with unforeseen circumstances that could arise from partner configured services vs. single unified resources,” writes Saeger in an email to Speech Technology.  

Saeger says the solution will benefit both the drivers and city of Grand Rapids. For users, the benefits include convenience, comfort, safety, accuracy, and transaction security.  

“Motorists simply dial a number with a credit card payment,” Saeger writes. “Convenience actually borders on a lifestyle change with features such as SMS reminders to dial vs. leaving a dinner engagement to feed the meter.”

For cities, Saeger cites the benefits as efficiency and the possibility of increased revenue. Additionally, VoltDelta’s OnDemand model means there are no capital expenditures required of any city deploying a ParkMobile solution.

“Cities require revenue for parking, but there is a cost for collecting money and parking enforcement,” Saeger writes.  “Enforcement cannot be everywhere at all times. SMS reminders could help to influence motorist to pay on time or early… out to pay well after expiration time.”

According to Saeger, the response to the ParkMobile solution has significantly exceeded expectations.  

“Since deployment on November 2, 2009, we have seen 25 percent subscriber growth week after week,” Saeger writes.  “Confidentiality prevents quoting actual numbers, however subscriber growth and revenue goals targeted to be achieved by one year post-deployment are on-track to be attained in six months.”

Grand Rapids is the first of several U.S. cities where the solution will be rolled out in the coming weeks. Service for parts of Canada is also planned.

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