When we talk to people about Windshieldink, they often ask us “who is your key target market and who can make the best use of your platform?” The answer to both of these questions is “cities”.
Cities are the one market that can take advantage of our entire license plate messaging platform. Windshieldink encompasses the free mobile app and the web based Fleeter, Connects, and Alerter business services that all work in unison with the app.
We envision a city and its citizens using the Windshieldink platform for the betterment of the entire community. This includes not only those who live there but also those who are just visiting. Read on about how this can be accomplished as we discuss each one of our business services and the benefits it brings in helping build a cooperative city.
The Windshieldink app solution
The foundation of our platform is the smartphone app that 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. The 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 some good reasons why;
- A person’s car alarm is going off; anyone can notify that car owner.
- The city is snowplowing streets. The city can notify a vehicle owner to move their vehicle before towing them. This can resolve a situation much faster than waiting for a tow truck. It also saves the citizen time and money!
- A car is parked in a loading zone or bike lane; the city can ticket the offender but also have the civility to give the owner a chance to move the car before towing it.
- A person sees a pet in a hot or freezing car; let the owner know before taking more extreme measures.
- Connect with parkade operators. We have seen cases of underground parkade floods and having no way of getting in immediate contact with the car owners.
FLEETER keeps city streets safer
Windshieldink Fleeter can play a role in city street safety. Working in unison with our app, Fleeter provides the capability for anyone to send message alerts to fleet operators. It’s the 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, whether the vehicle is for public transit, public works, police, or any other purpose. If a citizen wants to report an issue or concern about a driver or vehicle, they can use the app to send a message directly to the relevant city department simply using the license plate of the vehicle.
- A city can also request that their contractors register their fleet license plates online for their driver safety and road safety programs.
ALERTER finds missing vehicles
Windshieldink Alerter allows anyone to post missing or stolen vehicles online. The app enables the public to check the Alerter directory. How can a city benefit from Alerter?
- Police departments can upload the license plate numbers of stolen vehicles online. If a citizen sees a suspicious 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 trucking companies can post missing vehicles or trailers online that can include a notification of a reward offering.
- Amber emergency alerts can be posted into the same Alerter database in the event police are seeking the public’s assistance in urgently locating a specific vehicle.
- A stolen vehicle taken to another region is still verifiable as long as it is in the Alerter database. For example, a registered Alert for a car stolen in Barrie, Ontario would be still be searchable if that car turned up in Toronto or even in another province.
CONNECTS makes roadside communications easier
We all know how to call 911 in an emergency. 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 the location. How do citizens benefit from using Connects?
- The SPCA can create a simple ID, such as #SPCA. A person that wants to report an animal cruelty situation can send an email message to the SPCA simply using their Connects ID. There is no need to remember the SPCA phone number. Windshieldink has recently introduced this ID for certain provinces and territories in Canada (read about it in our blog Save a Pet From the Frigid Cold). For example, to contact the SPCA in Ontario input #SPCA and the origin as Ontario.
- Roadside assistance service providers can make themselves reachable using a simple ID such as #TOWME.
- Potholes and city road maintenances can make themselves reachable by creating simple ID’s such as #311TOR or #TOR-ROADS.
- Vehicles parked in bike lanes can be reported to the city using an easy to remember ID such as “TOR-BIKES”.
Individual cities have gone mobile
Cities including Barrie, Calgary and Edmonton have mobile apps. Their apps enable residents to interact with the city on various issues. While these city apps are great, a limitation is that visitors won’t necessarily have the app.
While not replacing these city apps, Windshieldink is unique in that it provides all it’s services in one common platform. Messaging a city about one of their fleet vehicles will work the same whether you live in the city or are just visiting. Additionally, if you are registered with Windshieldink, the city can contact you about your vehicle whether you live in the city or are just visiting.
Windshieldink’s goal is to be the mobile app every person has on their smartphone regardless if you are a driver, car owner, cyclist, or pedestrian. We all have an interest in what is happening in our cities and on our streets. Let’s strive to continue to make our cities more cooperative and liveable for residents and visitors alike.
We’re interested in hearing from you. Send your comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.