Home This App Helps You Park Like A Rock Star

This App Helps You Park Like A Rock Star

Circling the lot for a parking space is still one of our most infuriating pastimes. Now researchers think they’ve found a solution, no shady payouts or middlemen included.

Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo have invented PocketParker, an app that turns a user’s smartphone into a passive sensor to track other app users. A remote computer analyzes user actions and determines whether a parking lot likely has a free space.

To test the app, researchers had 105 smartphone in Buffalo use the app for a month and a half, for a total of 10,827 car arrivals and departures. The researchers installed cameras at parking lots to check their work and determined that PocketParker is able to correctly predict the number of available parking spaces 19 times out of 20.

The researchers will present their findings at Seattle’s Ubicomp conference this week.

See also: San Francisco Tells Parking Apps To Stop Auctioning Spaces

There’s certainly a demand to make parking simpler, but so far the proposed solutions have fallen short of the mark. Monkey Parking was a short-lived app that allowed San Franciscans to buy and sell public parking spots, which they didn’t own in the first place. It’s no wonder that San Francisco’s city attorney soon sent it a cease and desist.

Monkey Parking, along with competitors like Sweetch and Park Modo, still have active websites. However, they all cost money and a free alternative like PocketParker could replace them all—without creating a new sharing economy to piss off the city, either.

Photo by Matt Page

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