Will Smart Parking Make Circling The Block A Thing Of The Past?

from the wouldn't-that-be-nice dept

There was a fascinating article in the NY Times this past weekend about how the city of San Francisco is embracing “smart parking” technology — basically installing special sensors on the ground in 6,000 of its 24,000 metered parking spots. The idea is that the sensors will report (from one to the next and then onto a central computing system) where there are actually spots available — and people will be able to discover where to go via electronic street signs indicating open spots or even via their mobile phones. It should make for an interesting experiment at the least. Beyond the hassle of just finding an open spot, the article notes that in some places a significant component of street traffic can be attributed to people just trying to find a parking space. Of course, if there’s still too many people looking for spots, it’s unlikely that these sensors will alert people in enough time. By the time they find the open spot, they’re likely to find someone else already beat them to it. Still, this does seem like a step in the right direction in terms of using information to better deal with at least some traffic congestion problems.

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Comments on “Will Smart Parking Make Circling The Block A Thing Of The Past?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Think beyond the moment though. The data collected from these “smart meters” will also alert the city to peoples parking habits. How long people park in certain areas and at what times. In addition, when this data gets streamed to in car GPS systems, people may decide to avoid trying to park on certain blocks, knowing that spaces are rarely open there.

Of course, nothing will stop the lousy parker from taking up two spaces!!!

Raymond says:

Good idea but...

okay, just a couple of questions about it, how close to realtime is it, everybody brought up great points there most people will get there only to find that it has been taken by somebody.

it is a great idea, if you think about it, that puts us another step closer to making automobiles automatic, and that i believe will be the day that accidents are a thing of the past.

they should take the idea that they have there, and put research into that. everybody knows that automation like that is not just a science fiction theater special… it can be done would not be hard at all

Great idea though again, keep up the good work!!

Heath Ackley says:

We already have this

We have this technology at one of our malls. The mall is designed like a small town and has lots and garages sprinkled around. On the corner of each street, there is a sign with the number of open spots in lots or garages. You can quickly see, oh Lot A has 7 open spots; but, Lot B only has 1. It makes it easy to figure out where to go.

It is a heavy traffic area; but, it isn’t as bad as a city street for parking.

The mall is Easton Town Centre in Columbus, OH.

Matt Bennett says:

It seems to me even the information that AREN’T any spots within X blocks would be useful information. Then you know to give up and go to a parking garage sooner.

Then of course you’ll have the parking garages paying the city to advertise on the same network, displaying their open slots et cetera. Very Mercenary, but I can see it working.

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