The PTV Group's free app for truck parking now lists over 15,000 parking options and has received the telematics award 2014
"Truck Parking Europe" won this year's telematics award in the 'Best Innovation' category. At the IAA Commercial Vehicles trade fair on 29 September, members of the expert jury announced their vote for the app, which was developed by the PTV Group. Having grown to list over 15,000 registered parking spaces along Europe's main traffic routes, it is the largest free platform for lorry parking, with plenty of additional features and information on their availability.
The already high (and constantly increasing) number of users makes an impressive backdrop to Truck Parking Europe's win: over 22,500 downloads and around 5000 parking spaces added by drivers themselves are making the tool ever more interesting and proving its practical worth.
Winners despite record participation rates
Constantin Lutz, Vice President of Logistics, Sales and Marketing at the PTV Group, spoke at the event and appeared delighted at the triumph: "We are very proud of having won this year's telematics award. We combined innovation and practicality in a single app, creating a novel and easy-to-use solution to the well-known problem of insufficient parking.
The best proof of this is the constantly growing user community". The concept won in spite of a record number of entries: the 252 valid submissions represent the sector's huge interest in putting its own solutions up for independent testing. On its website, the event's organiser spoke of "the growing drive for innovation in the German-speaking world". The telematics award was presented by the media group Telematik-Markt.de, in partnership with the 'Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA)' (German Association of the Automobile Industry) and with sponsorship from the Ministry of Lower Saxony.
First on the market
The PTV app was launched in November 2013 as the first on the market for iOS devices and is currently available as an Android solution to download on the Google Play store. Not only can drivers search for parking spaces, they can also rate them, add new ones and make corrections to existing information.
The constantly growing parking database contains both officially designated truck parking places and car parks, as well as other suitable parking places off the motorway, e.g. in industrial areas - continuously checked and updated by the editorial team and the community. "The app makes parking spaces visible which before would have remained unknown to drivers who were unfamiliar with the area", explains Stephan Ruppert, Chief Product Manager Transport Route Planning at PTV, who joined Constantin Lutz to accept the telematics award. "You could say that we're creating parking space by making that which is already available visible and usable." The system relieves the burden on parking spaces on main roads.
At the same time, parking operators off the main routes are receiving more custom. "We don't think it's enough to just send availability updates, because the more attractive spaces are generally full up in the evenings", continues Ruppert. "We want to offer drivers at the end of their driving time a genuine solution and parking alternatives."
Drivers are given detailed information on which parking spaces are to be recommended, which are to be avoided, which are well lit or monitored, or which are in areas under surveillance, such as the edges of factory premises. The app displays the parking spaces according to the route.
Extraordinary route intelligence
With the "Driving mode" function which uses unique route intelligence, the app will show parking spaces along your route which require a total detour of no more than six kilometres. If you enter the direction of travel, the list of parking spaces will update during the journey, showing the distance and any detour required to reach only those parking spaces which are suitable. These calculations are based on those sections of the road network which are suitable for trucks and your actual route.
If the driver enters the remaining driving time, he or she will see which parking spaces could feasibly be reached in the time available. The radius search can be performed to cover the area around your present location or a point on the map. The coordinates or address of a selected parking space can be transferred to the navigation system installed on the smartphone.
Handy: the "Availability status" function
Drivers can update on the availability status of parking spaces at any time. If availability information is available for a parking area, it will be shown as green for "spaces remaining", yellow for "official parking is full" or red for "car park is overcrowded". The icon will fade according to how long ago the update was given, and the status is removed after a maximum of three hours. Incentives are offered to the most active community members, such as gift vouchers, for example.