Automotive > Infotainment & Telematics Blog

Moovit on Over, Intel: Make Way for Parking

by Roger Lanctot | May 05, 2020

Moovit has long been the darling of Israel's transportation-obsessed startup community. The company has frequently, and appropriately, been compared to Waze for its public transportation information aggregation enhanced by crowd-sourced real-time updates.

While not an intuitively obvious acquisition for Intel and its previous acquisition partner Mobileye, it does position Mobileye for data rich smart city applications related to multi-modal transportation and routing. Like autonomous driving and advanced driver assist systems, public transportation is a mathematical challenge and an opportunity to build value.

In Intel, Moovit has found a pertner for its unicorn moment in the sun. Intel Corporation announced yesterday its $900M acquisition of Moovit ($840 million net of Intel Capital equity gain). The move instantly delivers Intel into the Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) market allowing it to tap into Moovit's 800 million users accessing its multi-modal transit application operating in 3,100 cities in 102 countries.

Intel notes: "Moovit combines information from public transit operators and authorities with live information from the user community to offer travelers a real-time picture of the best route for their journey. In the past 24 months, Moovit has achieved a seven-times increase in users. Moovit has also signed strategic partnership agreements with major ride-sharing operators and mobility ecosystem companies for analytics, routing, optimization and operations for MaaS.

"With this acquisition, Mobileye will be able to use Moovit’s large proprietary transportation dataset to optimize predictive technologies based on customer demand and traffic patterns, as well as tap into Moovit’s transit data repository of more than 7,500 key transit agencies and operators, and improve the consumer experience for more than 800 million users worldwide. Moovit’s consumer applications and user experience will continue under its own brand."

Intel's acquisition highlights the importance of large data challenges inherent to resolving the people moving processes of the future. The best news for both organizations is the apparently intractability of these challenges - as evidenced by the battle with traffic information. The public gets better and better traffic prediction solutions - but traffic itself just keeps getting worse.

Looking across the landscape of a transportation market decimated by pandemic lockdowns and the absence of pedestrians and vehicles, it is worthwhile, at this time to consider what's next. What is the next big transportation technology roll-up opportunity? Could the timing - during the COVID-19 crisis - create yet another acquisition or investment opportunity comparable to Intel-Moovit?

The last remaining data-centric proposition facing transportation executives and touching nearly every facet of the market worldwide is parking. Like traffic and public transit, parking has resisted aggregation, analysis, prediction, or a perfect solution.

The range of variables for parking represents a compelling prospect and includes on-street vs. off-street, rates, availability, location, hours, and regulations. Parkopedia tracks 80 variables on its parking platform.

Parkopedia is not alone. The number and variety of companies taking on the task is daunting: AirportParkingReservations, BestParking, Honk, FlashParking, Justbooked, MPLS Parking, ParKam, Parker, Parkify, ParKing, Parking Mate, Parking Panda, Parkd, ParkMe, Parknav, ParkNow, ParkWhiz, Polly, SpotAngels, SpotHero, and We Park.

In addition, consumers surveyed by Strategy Analytics around the world prioritize traffic, weather, and parking among prospective in-vehicle applications:

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In fact, parking has become something of a strategic obsession for car makers. In a time of impenetrable traffic, no car maker wants a car owner thinking twice about driving to a particular destination out of concernn for parking availability. As a result, parking has been prioritized by every car maker - including in dash parking reservations and payment systems.

For cities, too, parking has become a fulcrum of planning policy. Cities around the world are putting developers and transportation hubs on parking diets putting even more pressure on parking solution providers. Some planners are doing away with parking entirely as an utterly wasteful use of space.

Finally, it is the process of parking itself that gnaws at drivers. Whether parallel or backing in or head-in, parking a car is an annoying if not frightful prospect for many. In fact, automated parking, introduced in mass market vehicles more than 10 years ago, was the first automated driving application to be overcome - after cruise control.

In this context, Parkopedia presents an intriguing prospect for companies kicking tires in the parking space. Not only has Parkopedia introduced a global parking information platform encompassing both on-street and off-street parking - the company is leading the development of automated valet parking for parking garages. Just imagine leaving your car at the entrance to the garage without having to drive in perpendicular circles.

Intel's Moovit acquisition is the news of the day and promises powerful new value propositions for Mobileye's emerging transportation data platform. But parking is the next big thing and the iron is hot.

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