According to research, one third of traffic congestion is caused by vehicles looking for parking. BMW recently announced that it will be installing a tool on all its new cars that will aggregate real time data to reveal potential parking spots.
The Inrix-developed tool, called On-Street Park, will be displayed on BMW dashboards much like the navigation system. The display shows roads, annotating them the colours green, yellow and red. If the street is lit up in green, that means you will have a pretty good chance of finding a parking spot; if it is red, then forget about that street, buddy. Yellow? Yep, you guessed it: somewhere in the middle.
The end of parking hell
How does it work? Data, baby. Inrix uses smartphone data and adds in data from parking meters as well as public data from cities. Inrix also compiles data from all other Inrix devices onboard cars (pretty much like Waze but for parking). By using all this data, the software will estimate available parking spots for you. DATA.
The sheer requirement of processing so much data from so many different sources means that accuracy has only hit about 80 per cent in tests, according to Inrix engineers. That, however, is still much more accurate than city-installed physical road sensors, which are expensive and unreliable.
This technology will definitely shine in a few years when all cars are connected. Many cities’ transportation departments are pushing for more cars to have the technology, which will increase accuracy further and allow drivers to waste less time looking for a parking spot. In fact, when you navigate to an address, rather than just taking you that pin on the map, the system will lead you to the nearest parking spot. It makes you wonder about the future - how long until our cars are driving us, rather than the other way around?