Commercial real estate is coming to a point where it must be conversant with technology. Miss out on an edge and your key performance indicators could take a beating compared to competitors who use it with grace and style.
That’s one reason areas like energy optimization and carbon reduction or electric vehicle charging are going to become important. Don’t do it, and someone will jump ahead, take your better prospects, make more, and reduce your importance and future.
That’s why some tech that sounds a little out there is worth considering now. Even if too early, it might not be soon.
In this case, there is an announcement by three firms — NTT DATA, Valeo, and Embotech — that they were forming a consortium, called VEN.AI.
“The consortium combines each company’s core competencies including owned IP, the latest technology, sales and support structure and strong operations offerings,” the press release reads, “to be the go-to solution provider for production ready parking automation with global roll out capabilities.”
Why parking automation? The easy answer is a question in return, whether you had recently watched people trying to park their cars. Here’s their pitch.
“VEN.AI offers an infrastructure-based solution that has very few requirements from the vehicle side as it guides vehicles via the use of sensors, connectivity (e.g., 5G) and offboard computing to a dedicated parking spot. Automated parking solutions can be implemented in a variety of use cases including the assembly plants where vehicles are produced, outbound-logistics distribution parks, depots for vehicle fleets operators, retail outlets as well as in parking garages as an automated valet service.”
NTT is a large IT and business services provider with a global footprint. Valeo works in “electrification, driving aids, the reinvention of the onboard experience and lighting around and inside the vehicle.” Embotech develops software for autonomous driving systems.
For a commercial real estate operator, a viable system, which could be years in the waiting, might provide a valet parking vibe without depending on human drivers. Properly implemented, it would also speed retrieval of cars after they were sent down into a parking area. It would free time for people working or living in buildings and for guests or consumers. Such systems would also provide additional data on traffic that could be useful in understanding building use and characteristics of those coming and going.
Some obvious problems as well. Beyond taking years to put into place, most cars in the near future would not incorporate the collection of on-board technologies that would likely be needed. Still, as part of future planning, it’s an interesting possibility.