With give or take 250 million cars in America, odds are most city dwellers waste time hunting for parking spots. And while a smartphone app can't make free parking spots magically appear, it can aid in the searching process.
The Parker app isn't new to the iPhone, but its founders, San Francisco startup Streetline, recently announced brand new enhancements, as well as new availability for Android users. The company is furthering their ongoing mission to make smart parking solutions a reality "through the use of sensor-enabled mobile and web applications".
For the app to work nationwide, Streetline must install battery-powered sensors in all parking spots. While they currently only have a few thousand sensors installed, the announcement of their partnership with IBM, ACS, Siemens, SAP, POM Parking Meters and others suggests their mission is well on its way to being realized.
The real-time metered parking/garage locator feature is currently only available in Studio City, California, and select areas of the Marina District of San Francisco, but there are a whole slew of other features that are very useful. A full rundown:
- As mentioned above, realtime guidance to open and available curbside parking spaces. Parker updates automatically as cars park and leave (currently available in CA only).
- The option to register and pay for parking in 84 U.S. cities, via mobile payment partners.
- A handy timer for metered parking; Simply set an alert for when you need to pump in more quarters.
- You can keep track of where you parked using Google Maps pins, your camera and notes.
- You have the ability to set filters to only display parking options that fit your needs: on-street vs. garage; cash, credit or mobile payment, etc.
- The ability to locate convenient garages, along with relevant details (cost, payment options and hours of operation).
- The ability to search by address or intersection and view parking options near your destination.