“Connecting properties with mobility leveraging AloT technologies”
Think about the last time you or someone you know was driving. A scenic road trip can be an enjoyable driving experience, but running errands can be a chore. In both cases, we need to find a parking spot, which can often be a time consuming, stressful experience.
Vitaly Pentegov from UrbanChain solves this problem. For drivers who have to spend a lot of time finding a parking space, while ensuring they have their parking ticket and small coins with them for payment, along with property owners who suffer from underutilized parking spaces.
Thanks to the evolution of vehicle access and payment control, UrbanChain helps property owners improve parking lot utilization and solve operations challenges, while making it easy for drivers to access destinations with greater ease, convenience, and value. How does it do this? By connecting properties with mobility leveraging Al and IoT technologies.
UrbanChain can transform a car into a credit card using automated vehicle recognition technology. It is plug-and-play, with low upfront cost and can be easily integrated into the existing system because it only takes UrbanChain about 5-7 hours to install effectively transforming parking lots into mobility hubs that can offer real-time occupancy, EV charging, car and bike sharing, smart lockers, touchless access and dynamic information, among many other benefits.
UrbanChain is a start-up company that originated in Hong Kong, launched in the U.S and recently expanded its operations in Japan. It started its “Smart Parking” solution trials in Fukuoka with a few local parking operators and the Fukuoka City Government under the name of Parkingbnb. The platform and mobile app provide real-time information on parking lot availability. For further scale, UrbanChain specifically chose Central Japan because Nagoya is the center of the automobile mobility, is Japan’s fourth largest city, and close to Osaka, the third largest.
Vitaly said, “The right size and a deeply rooted culture surrounding mobility makes Central Japan the best place and the right market size to test our product.” Within a short period of time, UrbanChain has already been delivering projects to a major Japanese company operating around Aichi Prefecture, which has been challenging UrbanChain on matters of mobility, EV and scooters. They are an important player in UrbanChain’s expansion.
Two years ago, UrbanChain received some venture funding from a family office originated in Fukuoka which really opened doors and helped them enter the Japan market and start operations. Then, Vitaly joined the 500 Global & Aichi Landing Pad program for global startups at STATION Ai. This unique program is a collaboration with the Aichi Prefectural Government to develop and grow the startup ecosystem within Aichi Prefecture. After successful completion, STATION Ai invited UrbanChain to join their program, which was very helpful because it is led by SoftBank and with the support of Aichi Prefecture, SoftBank introduced UrbanChain to many potential clients. Within a short period of time, UrbanChain has already been delivering projects to a major Japanese company operating around Aichi Prefecture, which has been challenging UrbanChain on matters of mobility, EV and scooters. They are an important player in UrbanChain’ s expansion.
Vitaly said, “Central Japan is known for its auto manufacturing and car factories, the home of Toyota, and most importantly, mobility driven, unlike Tokyo, which is more dominated by public transportation, so all of these factors drove us towards Central Japan and why it is the best fit for UrbanChain to further expand in Japan.”
When asked about his future goals and aspirations, he said, “I want to enable sustainable mobility in cities and believe the only way to do that is by establishing that online connection between the locations where people go and the means of mobility that they use to get there.” He added, “In any big city, 95% of the time the car, if its owned, its parked. That means that people are doing something at different locations and only 5% they commute somewhere, so there is an opportunity for us to improve how people commute and how they are engaged in different locations.” Vitaly is very interested in the better utilization of existing parking spaces. “Now there is an opportunity to understand what is really happening because there is no real time data. That is what we provide.”