Vallie helps Londoners get on-demand valet parking fast, using Google Maps APIs

Editor's note: Today we hear from Nash Islam, co-founder of the UK-based parking service Vallie. Read how Vallie used Google Maps APIs to launch an on-demand valet service in London.

The idea for Vallie came from a problem that so many Londoners face: finding parking in one of the world’s largest and most congested cities. The Daily Telegraph reports that it takes Londoners 20 minutes on average to find a parking spot, and that motorists spend up to 106 days of their lives circling streets to find a spot across the UK.

Using the Vallie app, customers pay £5/hour (up to £25 per day) to drop their car off in any central London location and hand over their keys to a Vallie driver who parks their car in a safe commercial car park. Vallie drivers can return a car anywhere in our serviced zone within 20 minutes. Customers can also request additional services: Vallie offers electric re-charging, car wash and Matters of Testing (MOT) services.
The mapping experience is so fundamental to our on-demand valet service that we wanted to invest in a high quality mapping service. We decided to use Google Maps APIs because it provides a consistent mapping service across all our platforms with quality routing and location data. We worked with Google for Work Premier Partner Ancoris for licensing and general implementation questions, and Google's support team worked with us to ensure we had an efficient implementation.
Customers request pick-ups and returns through the Vallie app. Vallie drivers have their own app that tells them where to meet customers and where to park. We used the Google Maps SDK for iOS to build our iOS app for customers and parkers and the Google Maps Android API for our upcoming Android app. Our online booking process is powered by Google Maps JavaScript API.

A variety of Google Maps APIs are core to our app’s services. We use the Google Places API to display building names or points of interest at meeting locations, which helps both the customers and Vallie drivers. We use Google Maps Directions API to show estimated arrival times. Finally, the Google Maps Distance Matrix API helps us calculate the nearest valet and car park so we can minimize customer wait times.

In the future, we plan to expand further afield in London, and then to other cities across the UK and Europe. We hope to expand our car maintenance services while also exploring ways to make parking much smarter and more effective. As we grow, Google Maps APIs will continue to be at the center of the quality parking and transportation services we provide to our customers.