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.
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.