Automotus raises $2.3M to scale curbside management technology to cities across the country

March 25, 2021

Automotus raises $2.3M to scale curbside management technology to cities across the country



The company’s video analytics platform collects data on delivery vehicle traffic and parking, helping cities work with commercial operators to proactively allocate curbside space while generating new sources of revenue




Los Angeles, CA: Automotus, a video analytics platform that monitors curbside traffic to help cities better allocate and manage curb space, has raised $2.3M to expand its footprint to more cities and launch nationwide partnerships with commercial fleets. Investments were made by Quake Capital, Techstars Ventures, Kevin Uhlenhaker (co-founder & CEO at NuPark, acquired by Passport), and Baron Davis.


Automotus-conducted research suggests that 50% of parking violations, such as double-parking, dwelling in bike lanes, or blocking driveways, are unenforced and committed by commercial vehicles — a statistic that takes on even more gravity when considering that the number of delivery vehicles in inner cities is projected to increase 36% by 2030. Using video-enabled real-time computer vision technology, Automotus processes data in real time to come up with solutions for easing traffic and making curb operations more efficient, improving traffic flow while also increasing efficiency for commercial fleets.


Automotus technology also makes it possible for cities to automatically invoice companies for their curb usage, share parking availability with consumer and commercial drivers, and automate enforcement operations. Data collected and passed on to cities — including dwell time, emissions, and vehicle type — help planners better understand curb and street activity across all modes of mobility, helping them make informed policy decisions.


Automotus’s technology has proven to be particularly valuable since the beginning of the pandemic, when home-delivery and curbside pickup services have seen unprecedented growth. Increasing numbers of commuters made the shift from public transit to individual or private modes of transportation, leading to a rise in traffic volume. Though the vaccine rollout presents the possibility of city life returning to “normal” in the coming months, experts predict these shifts in mobility will be long-lasting, making the call for effective curb management strategy all the more urgent. As cities balance the needs of all streets’ stakeholders — delivery drivers and companies delivering essential goods, restaurants building outdoor dining, and pedestrians and cyclists — building a data feed to monitor traffic, emissions, space constraints, and enforcement operations will be necessary to maintaining order and addressing safety concerns.


Pilot programs conducted by Automotus have already proven to have measurable impact on traffic, parking and operator efficiency. In recent deployments in cities like Turin, Italy and Bellevue, Washington, Automotus video analytics facilitated detailed breakdowns of curb and street traffic. This data was used to designate pick-up and drop-off zones, to guide additional parking policy, and make planning decisions. By fully automating parking enforcement at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Automotus increased enforcement efficiency and revenue by more than 500%. Implementing these measures led to a 24% increase in parking turnover and a 20% reduction in traffic.


This approach also saves commercial operators money, through increased efficiency and proactive payment for a reserved spot at the curb. In New York City, 20% to 30% of parking violations are committed by commercial operators, who rack up millions of dollars in fines each quarter. None of that is tax-deductible. Paying for parking, on the other hand, is. Moreover, Automotus presents a way for cities to regain income lost in the wake of COVID-19 through proactively monetizing curb space and enforcing parking violations, creating new revenue streams.


“The future of mobility and urban planning depend on healthy partnerships between public and private sector innovators,” said Jordan Justus, CEO of Automotus. “It has been promising to see Automotus immediately meeting multiple city needs – from bringing back revenue from parking to proactively finding win-win solutions for operators. Our technology holds great promise in finally dealing with congestion problems that have long plagued our streets.”


As cities and consumers change their habits, Automotus’s services are proving invaluable to cities who are scrambling to adapt to a changing urban landscape. “The pandemic has irreversibly transformed the delivery industry, creating a need for technology that reduces vehicle congestion, democratizes parking, and increases curb efficiency,” said Amy Coveny, Managing Partner at Quake Capital. “We’re proud to back a team that has found such a clear use case for their technology.”