Li Hongyi, together with a team, developed an app that was designed to make parking easy for Singaporeans. It was launched in October 2017 and is turning out to be a big success, currently being used more than 1 million times each month.
Li, the son of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching, works for the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech). The app is a project of GovTech, where Li is the Deputy Director for Data Science & Artificial Intelligence Division.
The principle behind the app, parking.sg, is simple and is also good for the environment since it eliminates the need for parking coupons. Drivers just download the app into their mobile phones and pay for parking using their debit or credit cards.
As the app’s website reads, “Pay for parking using your mobile devices at all coupon parking car parks.”
It follows a simple 4-step process. First, choose the car park that you’re using that day. Then, type in the number of your vehicle into the app. After this, write down how long you’ll need to keep your car in the car park, and then pay using your card. That’s it.
And if you do need to extend the duration of your parking hours, use the app to top off your payment. But if you do leave the car park early, you get a refund on your card.
The Ministry of National Development reported on its website that since parking.sg launched, the use of parking coupons has decreased to less than a third of its previous numbers, and that 60 percent of cars now use the app.
Parking.sg was discussed in Parliament on Tuesday, February 12, when MP Ang Hin Kee inquired about the number of people using the app, as well as the app utilisation rate in comparison with the use of coupons.
In reply, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong wrote, “Since the app was launched on 1 October 2017, more than 550,000 unique vehicles and more than 60% of cars have used Parking.sg. Motorists have initiated over 15 million parking sessions.
The number of parking coupons sold, at 50,000 booklets in December 2018, is less than one-third of the 180,000 booklets a month when the app was launched. At the same time, the number of parking sessions motorists initiated on Parking.sg has more than tripled, from 300,000 at launch to more than 1.1 million a month at present.”