APT Skidata launches smart remote assistance tool


APT Skidata, one of the UK’s leading parking solutions businesses, has launched a new mobile-based digital solution to deliver greater operational efficiencies and enhanced financial returns for owners and operators of individual or multiple car parks.

The new remote assistance solution – digital.services – is a smart technology that allows APT Skidata’s clients to use their own smartphone to visually share any technical difficulties with APT Skidata’s support team in real time via a dedicated App. The APT engineers can then diagnose faults and instigate repairs remotely, maximising equipment uptime and supporting a better visitor experience.

Steve Murphy, APT Skidata’s managing director, believes this is an industry first: “The digital.services platform means we can ‘virtually’ be with the operator when they first report an issue,” he says.  “It enables our technical team to see what the problem is without having to be physically present or obliging anyone to describe the problem over the phone. We believe that this will increase the likelihood of a ‘first-time fix’ by 30%.”

Murphy says the business is continually looking at ways of improving their clients’ operations: “Our digital.services solution will give owners and operators of stadia, airports, shopping centres, hospitals or town centre car parks a fast and effective way of preventing a minor disruption from becoming a costly crisis.”

The solution is powered by SightCall, an augmented reality (AR)-enabled visual assistance platform. It gives APT Skidata’s technical teams advanced technologies including: optical character recognition for touchless data entry; an active AR interface allowing remote experts to draw, point and highlight directly onto the service engineer’s smartphone; and high-definition picture and video quality, even in low-bandwidth environments. Full GDPR compliance provides additional portability, enabling secure usage everywhere the company operates.

Thomas Cottereau, founder and CEO of SightCall, is pleased that APT Skidata has been quick to recognise the vast, transformative potential of virtual solutions for its operations: “We are honoured to facilitate the company’s acceleration of its smart mobility strategy, as well as its moves toward greater remote management of vehicle access control at service sites across the UK. The stakes for digital tools are even higher now, with a need to protect customers and employees from COVID-19 exposure, while preserving normal operations as much as possible. SightCall will help augment APT Skidata’s existing data and resources for the continued development of its intelligent transportation solutions.”

Murphy believes the partnership with SightCall is the first milestone in a much wider digitally-led strategy: “As the market leader our mission is to transform the parking industry by harnessing the power of digital,” he concludes.

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Saul Wordsworth is editor-at-large of Traffic Technology International (TTi), and presenter and producer of the TTi Podcast. He is an author and keen cyclist, and lives in north London.