Parking expert Paul Gillespie speaks to The Capital Network’s Lelde Smits about the car parking industry.
The Capital Network: Hello I’m Lelde Smits for The Capital Network and joining me from Smart Parking Limited (ASX:SPZ) is its CEO Paul Gillespie. Paul, welcome.
Paul Gillespie: Hello.
The Capital Network: Paul, why is car parking perceived as a challenge?
Paul Gillespie: Everybody’s journey, as soon as you get into a car, starts and ends with parking event. And of course we all want to go to fun, exciting places; cities, city centres and other events and the like. And, there are lots of cars, car ownership is growing, people are growing. So as a result, the pressure on the curbside is becoming greater. So, by the natural growth of any city, it’s going to become more of a challenge to park your car anywhere in town, or outside of town in fact.
The Capital Network: Can you explain how has the industry has evolved over the past 10 years and where opportunities may be arising now?
Paul Gillespie: The industry has changed significantly, for me personally as well since 2002 when I first got into this market place. But predominantly in technology. So, we’ve seen huge strides in how you pay for your parking by your mobile phone, back in 2003 when that first started. Though to using your number plates to be recognised and pay for your parking as well, through to parking enforcement, again through number plate recognition.
So the key changes have been through the evolution of technology and the use of technology and the adoption of technology.
The Capital Network: On that technology front, which are the first countries that are picking this up. Also, can you give us an idea of the industry globally?
Paul Gillespie: In terms of countries parking is huge all over the world. If you look countries like the US, Australia, the UK, mainland Europe – all these cities have issues finding space and pressure on the curbside and places to park your car.
So for years, since the 1940s and 1950s parking meters have been used, where you put your coins in, but of course places like the UK, quite an advanced parking market place, early adoption of pay-by-phone parking, so I guess the UK is a place where it is growing quickly.
However, places like New Zealand, a very small country, adopt the technology much quicker again. So, we’re installing a fair amount of our technology in New Zealand and essentially that’s where innovation takes place as well, in those sorts of areas, all over the Western world I would say.
The Capital Network: That is a very big market opportunity. And the final question, you have mentioned technology, but what do you believe are the biggest development’s we’re likely to see and the most exciting ones coming up in the parking industry?
Paul Gillespie: I would like to think that the technology that we are providing is exciting and being implemented across the world. Having said that, cars are becoming more connected and cities are becoming more connected and you may have heard of the ‘Internet of things’.
We at Smart Parking Limited (ASX:SPZ) sit front and centre of that particular market place for parking with our in ground sensing technology. And, real time information, we’re providing that to customers right now. And, I do see that growing, to a point where the car clearly is going to park itself using real time information provided by companies like ourselves to direct cars on their own to free car parking spaces. So, that’s essentially where I see it going in the coming years.
The Capital Network: Well that’s certainly many exciting things to look forward to. Thank you for your time and explaining that today.
Paul Gillespie: Thank you.