When talking to people about Windshieldink, we’re often asked “who is your key target market and who can make the best use of your platform?” The answer to both questions is “cities and communities”.
We all know about “smart cities”. Smart cities use technology, cameras, and online sensors to help a city function to make life better for its citizens. A “cooperative city” is a city where the individual citizen and city work together to make life better for its citizens.
Cooperative cities are a market that can take advantage of our entire Windshieldink license plate messaging platform. Our platform encompasses the free mobile app and web based Fleeter, Connects, and Alerter business services. All three services work in unison with the same mobile app.
For the betterment of entire communities, we envision a city and its citizens both taking advantage of the Windshieldink platform. This not only includes those who live there, but those also just visiting. Read on about each one of the Windshieldink business services and the benefits they each bring to help build a cooperative city.
The Windshieldink App Solution
The foundation of our platform is the smartphone app. It is free to download to both Android and iOS devices. The app allows anyone to make themselves reachable via their license plate number. It also allows anyone to send messages to other registered members and businesses via a license plate number. The Windshieldink app provides the core of our functionality around which everything else revolves.
Why would anyone want to message a fellow citizen via their license plate number?
Here are a few good reasons why;
- A person’s car alarm is going off. Any person in the neighborhood can notify the car owner about it.
- The city is snowplowing streets. The city can notify a car owner to move their car before actually towing them. This will resolve the situation faster than waiting for a tow truck. It will save the citizen time, money, and a headache.
- A car might be parked in a loading zone or bike lane. The city can still ticket the offender but also have the civility to give the owner a chance to move their car before towing it.
- A person sees a pet in a hot car. Notify and remind the owner before taking more drastic measures.
- Connect with parkade operators. We have seen examples of underground parkades flooding and no way for the parking attendants to get in touch with car owners.
FLEETER Keeps City Streets Safer
Windshieldink Fleeter can play a role in street safety. Working in unison with our app, Fleeter provides the capability for anyone to send message alerts to fleet managers. It’s the smart-tech version of a 1-800 How’s My Driving program. How can a city and its citizens benefit from Fleeter?
- A city can register their entire fleet license plate database with Windshieldink . This can include vehicles for public transit, public works, police, or any other city service. If a citizen needs to report an issue or concern about a driver or vehicle, they can send a message directly to the relevant city department simply using the license plate of the vehicle.
- A city can also request their contractors to register their fleet license plates with Windshieldink to make themselves reachable for their own driver safety programs.
ALERTER Finds Missing Vehicles
Windshieldink Alerter, working in unison with our app, allows anyone to post missing or stolen vehicles online. It enables anyone in the public to easily check the Alerter online directory. Cities can benefit from Alerter and this is how;
- Police departments can upload license plate numbers of stolen vehicles with Windshieldink. If a citizen sees a suspicious or abandoned vehicle parked on their street for days, using the app, they can check if that vehicle has been reported missing.
- City fleet operations and private businesses can post missing vehicles or trailers online with Windshieldink Alerter. These posts can include include a notification of a reward offering if there is one.
- Amber emergency alerts can be posted into the Alerter database. Police can seek the public’s assistance in urgently locating a specific vehicle or missing person if their car has been abandoned somewhere.
- A stolen vehicle taken to another region is still verifiable if it is in the Alerter database. For example, a posted Alert for a stolen car in one region, province, or country will be searchable if the license plate turns up elsewhere.
CONNECTS Makes Roadside Communications Easier
We all know to call 911 in an emergency – it’s easy to remember. Similarly, Windshieldink Connects, working in unison with our app, is for message sending using a simple, easy to remember Connects ID. A GPS link can be included in a message to pinpoint a location if needed. Example benefits to citizens using Connects are;
- The SPCA can create a simple ID, such as #SPCA. A person who wants to report an animal cruelty situation can send an email message to the SPCA simply using their Connects ID. They don’t need to remember the SPCA phone number. Windshieldink has recently introduced this ID for the SPCA in Ontario (input #SPCA and the origin as Ontario) to send a message to them.
- Roadside assistance service businesses can make themselves reachable using a simple ID, such as #TOWME, for their business.
- City pothole and road maintenance depts can make themselves reachable by creating simple, easy to remember ID’s such as #311TOR or #TOR-ROADS.
- Vehicles parked in bike lanes might be reported to the city using an easy to remember ID, such as “TOR-BIKE”.
Cities Gone Mobile
Cities including Barrie, Calgary, and Edmonton currently have mobile apps that enable their residents to interact with the city on operational issues. While these city apps are great, one limitation is that visitors will likely not have the app for that city.
Windshieldink won’t replace these specific apps but Windshieldink is unique in that it provides all its services through one platform. The idea is that messaging a city about one of their fleet vehicles will work the same whether you live in that city or are just visiting and regardless if you have that particular city app or not. With Windshieldink it works two ways; you can contact the city about their vehicle and the city can contact you about your vehicle.
It doesn’t matter if you’re are a driver, car owner, cyclist, or pedestrian, Windshieldink’s goal is to be the mobile app on every smartphone. All of us citizens have a vested interest in what is happening within our communities and on our streets. Let’s all strive to continue to make our communities more cooperative and liveable for residents and visitors alike. We’re trying to do our bit.
We’re always interested in hearing from you. Comments or questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.