On Parking Talks we discussed the topic of Integrations. We enlisted the help of Google Cloud Premier Partners of the Benelux, Localyse, to tell us more about their projects and how they have seen the evolution of integrations.
Please Introduce Yourself, Localyse, and Tell Us a Little About the Impact You Have on the Parking Industry
My name is Jelle Draijer, I am the Business Developer for Localyse, and within Localyse I am mainly busy with existing customers and our new customers, developing solutions together with those customers that have a location component. And a location component that can be a LAT or a long coordinate, an X,Y or Z it is sometimes called, obviously we use the tools from Google, and Google Maps specifically to create solutions around location based services.
So this is what Localyse does, we actually provide companies with the ability to use Google Maps APIs, and the APIs are building blocks that can be used to create digital solutions, apps or websites, in which location based data is used. And among several industries, the parking industry is one of the industries where these APIs, these building blocks are used in solutions. So, we actually deal with a number of clients in the parking industry, helping them create digital solutions that support their services.
How Did Your Partnership with Google Come About?
So some time ago, I believe maybe five or six years ago, Google approached us with the question if we would participate in the partnership program to become a partner in the Benelux and officially nowadays it is called a Google Cloud partner, so it is a partnership with Google that we have, and it entails that we need to certify our people, we need to learn and we need to grow the number of people, and basically we keep our training on par, to understand what is available, and what is possible with the technology of Google. And as soon as we managed to get certified and make some agreements with Google, in what it would entail to be a Google Cloud partner, then the partnership was kicked off, and from that moment on we were mostly focusing on Google technology. And basically, we still are the point of contact for clients using the Google technology, and especially Google maps to help them, to support them, to respond to their technical questions and also to co-develop certain solutions if that is necessary.
What General Consumer Trends Have You Seen over the Last Few Years with Regard to Integrations?
A lot actually, it is a broad market, and obviously the need and importance of digital solutions is ever increasing. I can funnel that question a little bit regarding one of the solutions we have been working on always has a location component, on the one hand. And on the other hand, other trends that we see are obviously the famous buzz words like the Internet of Things, Big Data, and also computing power and artificial intelligence, are topics that we touch base with often. But what we also see nowadays is, as these buzzwords are becoming familiar, and people become familiarized with these principles, we see that there are now really solid solutions arriving derived from this technology. I would say that Big Data, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are really general, not so much consumer trends, but technical trends supporting consumer solutions. And if we look more specifically into the parking industry, what we see is that the need to, or the possibility to digitally find your way to a parking space, but also be able to find the parking space based on digital information, we see more and more awareness of this, and more and more programs with our parking customers that are really aimed at being digitally findable. So that is definitely a trend we see.
I would like to add, also following the trends that we have mentioned just now, it is going to be a really interesting time to see, specifically for the parking industry, what will happen if we see more and more people stop using cars, but using alternative modes of transport. And I think that there will always be cars, and there will always be parking spaces needed, but at some point in time I expect that the car sharing schemes and programs are gaining in popularity, as opposed to the idea that everyone has a few cars standing in front of their house. I think that definitely that this will be a big challenge for the parking industry to see how this will develop in the forthcoming 5 to 10 years.
So, It's Safe to Say That We Can Expect More Integrations from Large Tech Providers and Auto Manufacturers in the Future?
On a high level, obviously there is a battle going on between the large technology providers, like Google, but also famous car brands. So, every brand or car manufacturer has their strategy, it is pretty safe to say that the integration of software within the cars is increasingly getting more important and really an essential role in the manufacture and the use of cars. So there really are very clear developments going on which large technology player will be part of your car in the near future. And the recent collaboration between the PSA group, so Peugeot, Nissan with Google is one of the examples we see. On the other hand, there are obviously alternative platforms that have other car brands integrations as well. In the near future we will see either systems that will support several of these big technology players or potentially you end up with a vehicle that has a specific preference of integration with a certain technology player. So, this will change, and, in that sense, the car and the car manufacturing arena is a new area where the big technology companies are basically fighting for market share.
How Do You Think the Transitions from a Vehicle Aspect Will Impact on Connectivity?
This is definitely what I personally see, and what I personally think, but also if you look at the big transitions going on within the vehicle realm, the switch to alternative fuels and electronic vehicles, more and more of the cars become more electronical and less mechanical and one of the important elements in maintaining this, and also as a car manufacturer being able to offer a good functioning end product and solutions, that really support the use of these electronic vehicles. At this point I can only see that that will entail several technology and software solutions, and also the concept of the car being connected either to the car manufacturer or to a fleet owner, or potentially to an organization that helps with car-sharing programs and such. So I think that it is inevitable that cars become connected, and are increasingly connected at this point in time.
Please Give Us a Couple of Examples of Projects You Are Currently Working On
Not all of them are specifically related to the parking industry, but if I zoom in to the parking industry projects, some of the projects we see at the moment, for example I am working on this case where a municipality, a city, has an issue with a lot of cars driving around finding parking spaces. And this increases the pressure on the road network, and this creates several problems. So again, as I mentioned earlier, being able to find your parking space, basically before you leave, or potentially even reserve it, so that you are sure that you have a parking space and you can actually drive there in one go without looking and driving around in the municipality where you are looking for a parking space. This will decrease the pressure on the road network and solve several other problems along the way.
So we are actually thinking with clients towards solutions, so how can we help travelers by car to find the parking space quickly, to potentially book it and make a reservation so that you have the security of availability of those parking spots, and to make sure that you can get there in one go, also save time for yourself, enjoying the location where you are heading. So this type of project we see that in several parts in the Benelux area where we are active, and on the one hand it is about tourism, because it is a very touristic place, so there are also obviously people coming from abroad who are accustomed to using Google Maps, they rely on Google Maps to be their guide and therefore we use Google Maps to make sure that all the parking data, and the locations of all the parking garages and so on is up to date and correct, and we work with Google My Business with this, for the people who are unfamiliar with this, it is basically local search, on the one hand and on the other hand we work with solutions for example part of the website of a popular touristic venue we can actually include a system that helps you reserve a parking space and also helps you guide to that parking space, as soon as the day comes that you like to visit that location. These kinds of projects we see a lot, and all of them, well the parking industry is involved as part of the whole chain of partners of such a project.
Watch our Parking Talks video here:
Localyse have been Google Cloud Premier Partner of the Benelux since 2014 and specialized on Google Maps. We create products ourself, build on top of Google Maps, but we also support our clients during their appdevelopment. Are you wondering how Google Maps can help your organisation? Or wondering what location based data can do for your business? Location is our passion and we truly believe that everyone benefits of a good, structured and creative Location Strategy. A Location Strategy is a strategy where you can find a great value for your business, using locations or location based information. We would like to support your business to find the best Location Strategy.