Malls, college campuses, office parks, stadiums, public transit hubs and other complex real estate are hard to get around and find things.
GIS-based technologies such as searchable map kiosks, ad-sponsored WiFi and card linked promotions are helping. They supplement Google Maps. Basic things remain a challenge, however, like finding your ride share driver in the middle of an office park. Everything looks exactly the same!
Irvine Co. has deployed RideStop at its Santa Clara location in Silicon Valley, a 100-acre mixed-use park whose tenants include Amazon, Hitachi, AMD, Veritas, Analog Devices, Group and Whole Foods.
Lyft, for its part, has integrated the RideStop information into its app. For instance, it automatically locates users and tells drivers to meet them at RideStop Santa Clara Square 4.
The RideStop signs aren’t digitally enabled. At least not yet. In the not too distant future, we could see them digitally highlight user and driver names, and showcase sponsors and advertisers.
Irvine Co’s program extends a “last mile” program that Irvine has had with Lyft since 2016 to connect its largely suburban locations with Caltrain and Amtrak stations. In a press release, The Company said it might also deploy the service at its various locations in Silicon Valley, and Orange, San Diego and Los Angeles counties.
I talked with RideStop President Stephen Hancock about his goals for the company, which he is currently raising funds for. Hancock says that ride sharing is just the first of many potential micro location services that could be provided for real estate owners. Others could include such things as deliveries, parking, valet and electric vehicle charging.
The beauty of RideStop is that it offers a unified geographic database, says Hancock. A real estate owner “won’t curate to 12 platforms.”
The service can also help with a real estate owner’s internal management by providing business intelligence on traffic, peak times for service, etc. Hancock notes that RideStop is being licensed on a SaaS model to its real estate partners. Its location technology comes from SmartPoint.
The latter is described as a “real-time micro-location services platform.” It is run by his father Lee Hancock, the longtime location media entrepreneur who started Go2 Systems and holds numerous location patents.