Suchet Bhasin and Neil Mehta, co-founders of SureReserve, have spent several years in the parking industry in Singapore and previously developed a solution that involves parking sensors to identify available lots.
The solution was test-bedded in collaboration with JTC at their industrial estate, which gave birth to another product idea.
“In this digital age where one can book a taxi and reserve a dining table via an app, no such app or service existed for ‘chope-ing’ a parking lot,” lamented Neil, who also serves as the vice president of business development at SureReserve.
“Drivers must still navigate large and crowded carparks trying to find a vacant lot.”
Founded in 2014, the Singapore startup’s mission is to simplify the last leg of the driving journey: parking. It wants to give users “the power to park” where and when they want with a simple tap.
How To Use The SureReserve App
Neil describes the SureReserve app as a “digital pocket valet” of sorts as it is targeted at customers who wants to make parking quick, easy and convenient.
He foresees the app to be useful to a wide group of customers — be it a family with young children, an elderly couple who wants to park close to the lift lobby to avoid walking a longer distance, or a busy executive who does not want to waste time and petrol driving around in search of an empty lot ahead of a scheduled meeting.
According to Neil, SureReserve is deploying its service in a “small percentage of lots” that are located near lift lobbies, where it’s convenient for users to access the mall.
When asked if there will be any service fees involved, Neil said that they will impose a “nominal booking fee” for users. All other drivers can park as they normally do.
After booking in-app, SureReserve will activate a “park lock”, or an automated barrier, in the carpark which will prevent any car from entering the reserved lot.
“When a customer arrives at the lot, they can unlock the park lock via the app. The park lock will then automatically recline flat against the surface of the parking lot, enabling the driver to drive in and park,” explained Neil.
“You can make an advance booking, or if you are nearby or already in the carpark, you can use the app to ‘chope’ the SureReserve lot immediately if available.”
Neil assures that their system, which is built on the Internet of Things technology, allows only the person who has made the booking to unlock the park lock.
While the idea of not wasting time to find a parking lot is definitely alluring, it would be pointless if there’s a long standstill queue to enter the carpark when it’s full. How would reserving a parking lot in advance be of use then?
This is often the case at malls with high visitor footfall during peak periods, so it’s something to take note of for potential users.
Other Potential Use Cases Of The App
Currently, the SureReserve app is still in the pre-launch phase. Keen drivers who would like to try out the app can pre-register their interest here and receive free reservation coupons.
Neil shared that pre-registrations for the app have poured in as soon as word was out on social media, and they see this high interest as users signalling “acceptance of (their) product”.
SureReserve is also working with carpark partners such as “leading mall and commercial property operators” to deploy their service at select locations in the coming months.
However, as Singapore forges forward with its electric vehicle (EV) revolution in the years ahead, will SureReserve still be relevant then?
Neil said that they will pivot accordingly. For now, they have plans to develop an additional feature to help locate and reserve EV charging stations, thereby efficiently managing their usage.
“We want to make parking as easy and pleasurable as the ride itself, and will continue to develop our systems in order to do so. With EVs and autonomous parking evolving, we are exploring opportunities to integrate our system with these technologies,” he added.
Featured Image Credit: SureReserve