Luxe, a new on-demand valet app promises to eliminate parking woes and revolutionise city planning.
New York Times Technology Columnist Farhad Manjoo says the app will “completely upend” urban life as we know it.
The app functions similar to other mobile on-demand services. Before leaving for your destination, you enter the address where you’d like a Luxe valet to meet you. When you pull up to the predetermined address, a blue-jacketed Luxe valet will be ready and waiting for you by the side of the road.
You hand him your keys, and can even specify if you’d like your car washed (an additional $US40) or your tank filled up with gas ($US7.99). Your valet then drives off and parks the car to one of the many lots that Luxe has struck a deal with. Luxe works with garage owners to help fill their empty lots on off-peak hours.
Right now, it’s only in San Francisco, and parts of LA. Luxe charges $US5 an hour with a max rate of $US15 per day. It might sound expensive, but it’s a far cry from the steep fees many San Francisco residents are accustomed to paying.
Summoning your car back is as easy as dropping it off. You open the app, tap in your current location, and a Luxe valet will roll up in your vehicle in about ten minutes.
They will return your vehicle anywhere within their service area — not just to the original drop off location. So it’s easy to drive your car to dinner, then have it returned to you outside an event in a different part of town.
Though the idea of an on-demand valet may seem preposterous, Manjoo points out that finding a place to park your car is “one of the most soul-destroying hardships of living or working in San Francisco.”
But the app won’t just relieve the painful hardship of finding a parking spot by your office. Because Luxe drivers are able to immediately relieve drivers of searching for a parking place, fewer cars will be on the road creating congestion by endlessly circling blocks while they hunt for a spot.
Garage owners are also happy because their underutilized lots are getting use.