Circling, block after block, looking for a parking spot is a fact of life for urban drivers everywhere — but it doesn’t have to be. Smart parking startup Streetline has produced the Parker mobile app that will save you the hassle and tell you when parking spaces are available. The app promises to make parking much more efficient, saving drivers the headache of searching for parking, and preventing unnecessary pollution caused by circling. Streetline recently teamed up with communications giant Cisco to launch a pilot program in two towns in the San Francisco Bay Area — San Carlos and San Mateo — to test the technology.
About 135 sensors were planted in the pavement in downtown San Mateo, and 100 were embedded in San Carlos, sending a signal to Streetline’s free Parker mobile app when parking becomes available. The program can be used for street parking, parking lots and indoor garages. Using Cisco’s smart reuters and Wi-Fi mesh networks, the sensor data is aggregated and transmitted to the Streetline data center, which publishes the information on the Parker app. According to a press release, the data will soon be made available for general web browsers as well. Streetline has already deployed the app in at least 25 cities, but this is the company’s first partnership with Cisco.
In cities across the country, people hunting for parking account for nearly one-third of the cars on the road. Cisco and Streetline hope that the new deployment will help ease congestion in downtown areas where parking is in high demand. “Using the intelligence of the network as a way to connect what were previously unconnected areas opens up a number of new service opportunities for developing smarter communities,” said Cisco’s Wim Elfrink in a statement.