With this latest investment, BMW expends its already diversified portfolio of [i Mobility Services](http://www.bmw.com/com/en/insights/corporation/bmwi/mobility_services.html). Parkmobile provides on-demand mobile payment solutions for public on-street parking. This new service adds to the value of another great app already under the i Mobility Services umbrella, ParkNow. ParkNow offers a way of searching for and reserving city parking spaces, complete with cashless payment options.
As a heavy user of mobile apps and a strong supporter of digital payments solutions, I can only applaud these innovations. It’s great to see a large company such as BMW working with tech startups and embracing innovation as well as disruption. BMW has proven throughout its history that it is willing to disrupt itself from a design and engineering perspective, it is however doing everything it can to stay ahead of the mobile revolution and its impact on the automotive industry.
More details about Parkmobile and ParkNow after the break.
**Official Release:** The BMW Group is expanding the footprint of its innovative BMW i mobility services with an investment in the parking service provider Parkmobile International Holding. With around 10 million customers in more than 600 international cities, Parkmobile is the world’s leading provider of on-demand mobile payment solutions for public on-street parking. This partnership will significantly expand the footprint of the BMW i premium parking service ParkNow, whose focus is on offering its customers a user-friendly way of searching for and reserving city parking spaces, complete with cashless payment options. U.S. users will in future be able to use the ParkNow website or smartphone app to access approximately 2.7 million garage parking spaces and on-street parking spaces across hundreds of cities.
This latest move means that ParkNow is now the first network to offer its customers user-friendly parking solutions for both garage and on-street parking. “With this new investment we are taking the next step on the way to making ParkNow the world’s leading premium parking service,” says Joachim Hauser, Vice President Business Development BMW Mobility Services. The expansion of the ParkNow network is a further example of how BMW i is continuously growing and strengthening its state-of-the-art mobility services, he adds. Such services also include the premium car-sharing service DriveNow, which is currently up and running in a total of seven European cities, as well as in San Francisco. ParkNow likewise plans to start operations in European markets in the near future.
**Parking space bookable by app or computer, cashless payment, parking time extendable without returning to the vehicle**
The premium parking service ParkNow from BMW i, which can be used with any make of vehicle, spares drivers the often time-consuming task – particularly in large cities – of searching for a vacant parking space. This in turn helps to reduce fuel consumption and mitigates congestion and Co2 emissions. Customers who plan to park their vehicle in a parking garage near their destination can book a parking space before they set off, either by computer or by smartphone. The website or app shows the search results for all participating garages, filtered by availability, distance and price. ParkNow can also be used to conveniently search for and reserve a parking space for an EV, complete with charging point. As an alternative, in the near future it will also be possible to book parking en route using the navigation system. ParkNow already allows users to load the location details of their selected car park straight into the navigation system, while an electronic ticket grants them access to their reserved space when they arrive at their destination.
ParkNow is a convenient and customer-friendly solution for on-street parking as well. The driver no longer needs to look for change to feed a ticket machine or parking meter but instead can simply enter the number of the selected parking zone in the app or navigation system to start the parking session – even before getting out of the car. Payment takes place automatically via ParkNow. As an added convenience feature, before the selected parking time expires customers are informed by a signal on their mobile phone. If they wish, they can then extend their parking time without returning to the vehicle – provided the allotted parking time has not yet been exceeded. This additional time is again charged automatically.
**BMW Group invests in Parkmobile as a strong partner**
The investment in Parkmobile will allow the BMW Group to further expand the footprint of its “one-stop” ParkNow service, an on-demand, flexible solution that allows users to search for and reserve garage or on-street parking, with subsequent cashless payments. The joint venture of Parkmobile USA LLC and SP Plus Corporation will further extend the network’s coverage. SP Plus operates more than 4,200 parking garages with more than 2.1 million spaces in hundreds of North American cities. The joint venture Parkmobile USA LLC will combine ParkNow’s expertise in the brokerage of covered parking space with Parkmobile’s focus on on-demand mobile payments and SP Plus’ focus on pre-paid parking services. It will be possible to tailor this combined service precisely to the needs of all target groups. For example, customers visiting event venues, restaurants, universities or airlines can in each case be offered an appropriately tailored premium ParkNow service for booking parking. The parking search is carried out online, avoiding the need for time-wasting street searches, and payment is automatic and cashless.
The further expansion of ParkNow’s extensive footprint in North America is in progress. Details on additional partnerships will be announced in the near future.