The photo shows an AutoReturn vehicle lot near San Francisco in Daly City, Calif.
In order to improve efficiencies in towing management, some municipalities are turning to AutoReturn. Through the company’s system, cities can automate the entire life cycle of a tow, from the dispatch request to storage and retrieval.
The system relieves cities and police of the day-to-day administrative burden of managing towing operators – from contracts and performance monitoring to licensing and auditing. The system automates what was a manual process for police communication and 911 centers, allowing agencies to focus on otheractivities and tasks.
“We’re a technology-enabled services company, not a towing company. We don’t own a single tow truck and never will,” AutoReturn CEO John Wicker says. “Instead, our platform works efficiently with professional, locally owned, existing tow operators. We provide our logistics platform and expertise to achieve success for local government agencies and improved services to residents.”
The system includes a cloud/smartphone-based logistics platform coupled with dispatch and partner support centers that operate around the clock. The company also offers in-house development and integration capabilities to its clients.
In 2015 AutoReturn won contracts in Austin, Texas; Denver and Las Vegas. Last March, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to a new five-year, multi-million-dollar contract with the company to provide the city with continued use of the program. The contract has an option to extend for an additional five years.
The company’s systems and processes in San Francisco and other cities have helped improve each step in the municipal towing lifecycle. The results are minimized wait times, decreased secondary accidents, improved officer safety, reduced emissions, increased traffic flow, reduced burden on dispatch and 911 centers, improved customer service and a reduced number of claims and complaints. The setup has also yielded millions of dollars in savings to the city’s transit authority and police department.
Additionally, the system makes it easier for citizens to find and release towed vehicles. AutoReturn’s process allows car owners to find vehicles through a user-friendly web search or an automated phone system, backed by a 24-hour service center. Queue management and trained multilingual staff help keep average wait times to less than 90 seconds and average release processing times to less than five minutes, according to the company.
“Working with AutoReturn is an easy decision for smart cities,” San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin says. “San Francisco enjoys the benefit of working with proven companies who can increase service and at the same time reduce costs with technology and innovation.”
Go here for information on AutoReturn.