Technology is going to transform how motorists hunt down available parking in crowded cities, ending the need to circle endlessly for a space, a new study says.
Programs have been launched in several cities that allow motorists to get real-time information about parking beamed to their smartphones, says the study from the International Parking Institute.
For instance, San Francisco’s program not only tells drivers where they can find an on-street spot, but off-street parking as well. The city’s program is aiming to be comprehensive, including much of the downtown.
Seattle is using a system of message signs and Web information to direct motorists to open spaces in six garages.
The study also finds more cities are finding creative ways to let motorists pay for parking, ending the need to fish under seats for loose change for meters. Washington, D.C., has a program in which 40% of those parking use cashless systems.
Some cities allow drivers to pay using smartphones. Miami and Pittsburgh use license-plate scanning technology to make payments easy and convenient.
Such systems not only make urban parking easier, but they are better for the environment. When drivers no longer have to circle for a parking spot, their cars create less pollution.