Curbing COVID’s Impact on Your City
By Ritwik Pavan

We continue to face several challenges as we enter the pandemic’s seventh month. This has not only affected personal lives, but also the economy as a whole. Universities are scrambling to come up with alternate plans. The sports and entertainment world switched to a virtual audience. Local businesses have moved to take-outs and outdoor seating. Cities have taken immense hits on revenue due to decreased foot traffic and parking. One thing is common here: the coronavirus has changed the norm for citizens and cities.

The impact of COVID-19

Due to COVID 19, cities have seen the demand for parking go below 80%, drastically hurting the $131 billion market. Due to the landscape of food-pick up and deliveries, several cities ended up switching the parking spots to loading zones for vendors like Uber, Doordash, etc. to temporarily use. The interesting question that sparks when discussing loading zones is: Was it inevitable that cities would eventually face the problem of loading zones / last-mile pick up? Based on our data, the answer is yes. This pandemic has only sped up the need for cities to have access to loading zone and curb space data. This is a problem they were facing even before the pandemic and only got worse.

This got our team thinking. What if we could temporarily use our VADE cameras to track curb space / loading zone data in real-time and allow for cities to eventually track the data over time and see how things continue to change as our economy shapes back to normal eventually?

The future of VADE

When we first launched VADE, our goal was to solve the problem citizens face when trying to find a parking spot. While we still believe that this is a problem that will arise once life returns to normal, we believe that the bigger problem cities are now facing is that they currently have no solution to managing their loading zones and overall curb space data. Over the course of the last few weeks, we have explored using existing cameras and technology to collect real-time curb data and enhance our computer vision modeling / backend to show cities information that could help them with urban planning and decision-making as the world waits for the day that things can go back to normal. 

What does the future look like?

Our goal of making citizens' lives easier can be enhanced by having an end-to-end parking solution that allows vendors, fleet companies, and delivery vehicles to efficiently find parking as well. This all starts with cities taking that first initiative.

If you'd like to see how we can mitigate the impact of COVID on your city’s revenues, please reach out to use at team@vadepark.com