Few payments technologies have gained headwinds from Covid fears as much as contactless parking, and now drivers have an option to locate, reserve, and pay for a space from their in-car touchscreen.
Xevo Inc., a developer of connected-car technology, announced Thursday it is enabling the parking feature with Reef Technology, a Miami-based operator of parking garages and neighborhood kitchens. With the new feature, drivers whose cars have the Xevo feature will be able to pay for parking from their dashboard without touching any parking-lot equipment or handling a receipt, say Xevo and Lear Corp., Xevo’s Southfield, Mich.-based parent company and a provider of automotive seating systems.
Reef says it is the largest operator of parking lots and so-called neighborhood hubs in North America, operating some 4,500 off-street parking sites.
The new feature depends on Xevo Market, an in-dash technology that lets drivers find and pay for diverse needs, including fuel and restaurant meals. In January, Shell Oil Corp. announced drivers of Fiat Chrysler vehicles could pay for gas at Shell stations from their Uconnect Market commerce platform, which includes apps for vehicle service, food, parking, and a wallet for storing payment information. The platform was developed by Xevo.
Reef and Xevo say the parking capability could be the start of expanded in-car functionality, including not only payments for gas fillups but also charging for electric vehicles, routine maintenance, tire replacement, and detailing.
Parking in particular has become a high-profile need as motorists venturing outdoors look for ways to pay without coming into contact with devices they don’t control. But while these apps typically rely on integration with a smart phone, ventures such as Xevo are seeking to integrate a range of driver needs with intelligence built into the car as part of a trend toward in-car commerce.