Hanoi squeezes in smart car-parking app

By VnExpress   May 2, 2017 | 08:59 pm GMT+7

The app is hoped to solve Hanoi's crowded streets but some drivers have found it inconvenient.

Hanoi launched a smart parking service on Monday that will allow drivers to find parking spots and pay parking fares using their smartphones.

The pilot project covers Tran Hung Dao and Ly Thuong Kiet, with 17 parking lots with a capacity of 248 cars. The lots will be open seven days a week, with 16 available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and one available 24 hours a day, according to Tuoi Tre newspaper. The trial period is expected to run until August 1.

The hourly rate is VND15,000 ($0.66) and can be paid via the iParking app with VISA or Mastercard, or by SMS. The app automatically alerts users 15 minutes before their parking times expire, and also allows users to remotely extend their parking times.

hanoi-squeezes-in-smart-car-parking-app

A customer receives the receipt after parking his car at a parking lot using iParking. Photo from Hanoi portal.

The iParking application is currently available on AppStore/CH Play for smartphone users to download, according to Voice of Vietnam (VOV).

iParking is the first mobile phone application for parking lots in Vietnam. The software aims to solve Hanoi's crowded streets.

Fees are calculated automatically to prevent operators from overcharging drivers, Pham Van Duc, deputy director of the company behind the new system, told VOV.

However, some drivers are already unhappy with the new system. Many are irritated that they can't use cash and have to waste time installing the application or typing a text message.

Another shortcoming is that only subscribers of Vinaphone, Mobifone and Viettel can pay their parking fees via SMS, according to Tuoi Tre.

According to the system's designers, iParking has already taken of in the U.S., France, the U.K., Germany, Australia, Japan, Denmark and Israel. Vietnam is the ninth country to introduce iParking.