Mobile apps for smart parking

How many times have we gone around circles trying to find parking slot for vehicles? A study conducted by IBM in 2011 found that 30 percent of a city’s traffic is attributable to people hunting for parking — with a third of New York City drivers reporting they search for 20 minutes on an average. This search burns about one million barrels of the world’s oil every day.

What if there was a way to find out where there is a parking spot ready, or even better, book it in advance? Smart parking is the first step in the right direction. It involves using low-cost sensors, real-time data collection, and mobile-phone-enabled automated payment systems that allow people to reserve parking in advance or very accurately predict where they are likely to find a spot. When deployed as a system, smart parking thus reduces car emissions in urban centers by limiting the need for people to needlessly circle city blocks searching for parking. It also permits cities to carefully manage their parking supply.

On-street parking management app

An on-street spot is often convenient. There are parking management companies which let user’s pay through their app, receive messages as time runs out, and even extend remaining time with a tap wherever you are. Some of these apps let users pay on site through their phones for spaces in a self-serve lot or in a garage. 

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