The new mobility landscape has made holding space in cities a hot commodity. No more curbs just for buses, taxis, deliveries and parking. Now these traditional use cases must deal with bike lanes, drive-through hail, same-day deliveries, dockless vehicles and more. As a result, cities and investors are beginning to prioritize software that helps manage space.
Enter Automotus, a four-year-old startup that just closed a $9 million seed round to advance its automated constraint management solution. The company says its technology can reduce congestion and emissions by up to 10%. reducing double parking risks by 64%. increasing parking turnover by 26%; and increasing parking revenue for cities by over 500%.
Automotus works with cities such as Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Omaha and Bethlehem to automate payments for vehicle unloading and parking, enforce violations and manage preferred loading zones and reduced rates for commercial electrics vehicles, the startup said.
“We’re also integrating with other mobility service providers to help cities gain a more complete picture of how public right-of-way is being used and in what ways for planning, policy and pricing efforts,” he told TechCrunch. Jordan Justus, CEO of Automotus. .
In March 2021, Automotus raised $1.2 million in seed funding, so the company managed to cover an additional $7.8 million in the intervening year and a half. The most recent funds were led by City Rock Ventures, Quake Capital, Bridge Investments, Unbridled Ventures, Keiki Capital, NY Angels, Irish Angles, SUM Ventures and LA’s Cleantech Incubator Impact Fund.
“Most of the funding will be used to run and support facilities in at least 15 new cities coming online in 2023,” Justus said. “We have a big year of launches ahead of us and are laser-focused on delivering the best possible solutions for our customers and continuing to scale up previous pilots.”
While Automotus largely offers a Software-as-a-Service product, installing the right hardware is an important component of data collection. In its partner cities, the startup is deploying mobile-enabled cameras equipped with Automotus’ proprietary computer vision technology. The cameras are placed at traffic lights and roads in areas where you might see plenty of loading and unloading or in zero emission zones.
With Automotus’ technology, there’s no need to download mobile apps or use meters. The cameras capture images of license plates and automatically collect data, issue parking tickets or send reports if a vehicle does not comply with city regulations. The technology blurs all faces and de-identifies data to ensure the privacy of road users.