Meet two Toronto startups that are defining autotech

Ideas

Cars burn both gas and money - Let's get creative on concrete.

Rover Parking matches drivers with the perfect parking space at a fraction of the cost of traditional lots. Launched in August 2015, Rover operates through a mobile app similar to Uber that flags unused driveway space that drivers can book for as little as two dollars an hour. Since joining the sharing economy bandwagon, Rover is often referred to as the Airbnb of parking

The idea of a cheap and convenient parking app came from the grief of co-founder Grant Brigden’s daily commute,

“One day I was walking to the subway and I saw a meter cop ticketing a car, but in my peripherals I could see dozens of empty driveways, said Brigden. “It was crystal clear that there was a better, more convenient way for people to park, without having to worry about tickets.”

Anyone with an unused driveway space can register it on Rover. It then appears on a mobile map and is matched to drivers with nearby destinations. Although Rover’s mandate is to make parking convenient and affordable, they also aim to change commuters’ perspective on mobility as a whole. “We’re looking at mobility in a bigger way. Now people can park where congestion starts and take uberPOOL or get a bikeshare for the last mile of their commute. By disrupting the parking industry, the whole concept of mobility changes because we’re offering new, more convenient opportunities.”

Although mobility is the focus, Rover takes prides in being a community brand rooted in sharing and trust. Initiatives like ‘Rover ‘til Sober’ encourages drivers not to get behind the wheel drunk and donates portions of the parking tab to local pet shelters.

Looking for another company that’s getting creative on concrete? Try Fiix, the startup that’s making mechanics mobile by bringing garage services to the comfort of your own home.

Fiix lets you select the repairs you need, the time and place you need them, and delivers a qualified mechanic to your door to perform the task. Fiix aims to turn the industry on its head by eliminating the middleman, ordering parts from the same distributors as auto shops, and charging customers without inflation.

“When we first started with tire changes, we approached it from the customer’s perspective,” said Fiix CEO Arif Bhanji. “Generally, we know people hate going to the mechanic, largely because of three things: inconvenience, price and transparency. Fiix can solve all of that.”

As opposed to the typical auto repair model, car owners can watch their cars get fixed, ask questions and build a rapport with the mechanic working on their vehicles, offering complete transparency.

In the short eight months they’ve been in operation, the team at Fiix has grown from one to 15 mechanics. The company plans to continue expansion as demand continues to rise.

With the winter months upon us, whether you’re looking to get your tires changed or find a hack to cut down your lengthy commute, Fiix and Rover have got you covered.

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