Flowbird Group, a global supplier of urban mobility solutions, has partnered with the City of Savannah to replace their existing Pre-Paid Smart Card parking system with new cloud-based validation software. The “Validation ePurse” system allows drivers in Savannah to purchase an individual validation code from the City’s department of Mobility and Parking Services at a discounted rate. The code can then be used in the future to pay for parking at the City’s Flowbird Strada Pay Stations.
In early 2018, the Flowbird development team met with Savannah City Officials to make a change with the antiquated Smart Card system. For many years, drivers would purchase these pre-paid cards and the dollar value on the card would get debited down with each parking transaction. The Flowbird team was able to develop an electronic system to suit the needs of the City and drivers, releasing the Validation ePurse system.
When customers purchase an ePurse Validation code, they provide their name and phone number for code tracking. Once the code is given to the customer, they may use that code to pay for their parking time on-street at any designated pay station that the City assigns to that code. After the code is entered into the pay station, the user can choose how much parking time he/she needs. Once the time is selected, the customer confirms the transaction, their ePurse gets debited down accordingly, and the transaction is wirelessly communicated to the enforcement handheld devices.
The Validation ePurse eliminates the need for any new hardware, running exclusively on software and cloud hosting. There are no more pre-loaded cards to buy nor the need for re-loading stations that City staff have to operate. This provides a cost savings to the City, and eliminates the need to manage an inventory of smart cards.
When the validation code is created by the City, they have many controls over how it may be used, such as:
- The pay stations in the city it may be used on
- Number of uses per day
- Number of hours that may be used on any given day
- The time of day it may be used
- The days it may be used
The Validation ePurse system launched in Savannah in September of 2018. Since then, more than 1,600 codes have been used, resulting in approximately $10,000 in pre-paid parking revenue.
The name Flowbird expresses the innate ability of birds to navigate individually within crowded spaces; mirroring the benefits for people of the intelligent parking and multi-modal systems developed for towns and cities by Parkeon and Cale.
Flowbird’s group resources include 500 R&D engineers working on behalf of customers to push the boundaries of innovation in transportation hardware, software, sensor systems, machine-learning and AI, information security and mobile development.