Startup Metropolis looks to disrupt parking

While most apps and startups focus on payment via a smartphone, Metropolis goes a step further and partners with parking structure operators adjacent to commercial areas. Metropolis supplies its technology to parking companies that provide customers with what Israel calls the convenience of a “drive in and drive out” experience without having to pay upon exit by credit card, cash or even access their phones.

Metropolis employs camera-based computer-vision and machine-learning technology supported by proprietary software and data analysis to recognize cars and automatically charge a customer’s account. Customers sign up and provide their name, license plate and phone number, email and payment method to access the Metropolis service at an affiliated parking facility and receive an email receipt after exiting and can check the cost in real time via a Metropolis app.

The Metropolis platform has been deployed in more than 600 parking facilities in over 60 cities nationwide, and the company has more than 1.8 million users. Metropolis recently acquired Premier Parking, a Nashville-based company that operated hundreds of parking garages and spaces around the U.S, and in November the company announced a partnership with Uber Park that allows those using the ride-sharing app to access locations within the Metropolis network.

A key differentiator for Metropolis is the ability to connect businesses in the same building or immediate area, allowing merchants to offer exclusive promotions and discounts within the Metropolis app.

While drivers benefit from the convenience of the Metropolis platform, it also allows parking facility owners to adjust pricing and operations based on Metropolis data. “By leveraging Metropolis, commercial real estate operators can gain understanding into how their assets are being utilized by consumers,” a company spokesperson said. “They can better inform pricing, staffing, maintenance and investment strategy, which is why many of the largest commercial real estate players in the country are our customers and why several are also investors.”

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