WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Mobility company curbFlow is taking advantage of the spike in takeout orders across the country with its so-called “computer vision devices,” or CVD’s, that monitor available curbside parking in real time.
The company rolled out the virtual curbFlows in the District in partnership with DoorDash. Delivery drivers type their destination into the curbFlow app, which shows them parking availability with a green stripe. Back in July, a University of Washington study found that, on average, the search for parking accounted for 28 percent of commercial drivers’ total trip time.
The search for parking is time consuming, and sometimes, it’s a gamble. Co-founder of Indian restaurant Rasa, Rahul Vinod, (who partnered with curbFlow about three weeks ago), says food can get cold while it waits to be picked up. “There’s times when drivers sometimes pick up the wrong order because they’re so scared about getting a ticket because their car is double parked,” added Vinod.
curbFlow installed a CVD in the front window of his restaurant in about 30 minutes. Since then, Vinod hasn’t had to mess with it. “They install the camera, they make sure that it’s kind of hidden and out of the way and doesn’t mess with any of the decor in the restaurant, and after that it’s kind of hands off,” he said. Some weeks, 40 to 50 percent of Rasa’s sales are takeout orders.
“The faster they can execute those pickups and drop-offs, the more they can do per hour, the more money they make,” said curbFlow’s Senior Director of Operations Kevan Moniri. He says the CVD’s can monitor two to ten parking spaces at a time, depending on visibility.
If merchants are interested in hosting a device, they can reach out to curbFlow’s D.C. office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 417-8895.