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Find, book and pay for parking with SKT app

June 20,2019
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SK Telecom unveils a mobile parking app, T map Parking, as part of efforts to strengthen its mobility business. [SK TELECOM]
SK Telecom unveiled a parking solution that will allow drivers to check parking spaces and make automatic payments through a mobile app, the carrier announced Wednesday.

The T map Parking app, launched Tuesday, is part of SK Telecom’s effort to strengthen its mobility business. The company currently operates mobility services that include navigation and taxi hailing.

The app is a collaboration based on SK Telecom’s information and communications technologies and the safety and management experience of ADT Caps, a security service provider.

Users of the app will be able to search for a parking lot near their destination, book a parking space, be guided to the spot and make an automatic payment before leaving the lot.

The service will eliminate the inconvenience of having to personally drive to various parking lots to find a spot, according to the company.

Demand for parking spaces in Seoul has far outgrown supply. According to SK Telecom, there are now 27 percent more cars than there are parking spots in Seoul, making driving an often unpleasant experience. The company also noted that the value of parking tickets issued for illegal parking hit 4.9 trillion won ($4.2 billion) in Seoul in 2016.

Taking such issues into consideration, the mobile operator stressed the importance of parking solutions and highlighted its potential growth in the future when its 5G network could revolutionize parking.

“Getting off at a desired location and letting the automobile find its own space could be the future,” said Jang Yoo-seong, head of the mobility division at SK Telecom, at a press event in central Seoul on Wednesday. ”The car could automatically drive itself to a charging station and receive maintenance when necessary [without the help of the driver] … With the belief that such an era will arrive, we are working and realizing mobility services that could improve people’s lives.”

SK Telecom currently has 208 parking lots that are either directly operated by the company or in some way affiliated with it. The telecommunications firm plans to expand the number to 350 by the end of the year.

“Parking lots are the start and end of the mobility business,” said Jang. “With the entrance of the 5G era, we will develop the service into a mobility hub that will function as the essence of the automated vehicle future.”

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]