Finding parking is the bane of city existence
There is never-ending traffic in cities like Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. As a driver, trying to find a parking spot in these cities can be a nightmare. What if there were an app that told you where to find an open parking spot, and gave you driving directions leading you right to the space?
This is exactly what ParkNav does.
Eyal Amir, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, along with partner Sergei Kozyrenko, a software developer who previously worked at UBS and Argonne National Laboratory, founded the company in 2011. They sought to guide users to those coveted street spots in congested cities.
Be the free parking sage
Using the app, drivers can locate the best options for parking. The app offers three parking types: free parking, pay metered spots, and permit parking. Once a user has selected their parking type, they can select either a parking chance or optimal route map type.
The map provides turn-by-turn directions, and the app highlights spots within an area on the map showing the estimated percentage for getting a spot. Gerhard Boiciuc, Parknav’s vice president of business development, says the app can save drivers 70 to 80 percent of their search time.
Crowdsources for accuracy
ParkNav uses machine learning, big data and predictive analytics to determine what streets will have open street parking in real-time. Because the app is solely algorithmic, ParkNav doesn’t really know if the spot is open currently, but its pretty good at predicting areas with available parking. Their predictions are so accurate that their current customers include service fleets, navigation companies, and automobile manufacturers.
The system works by collecting and analyzing GPS data, proprietary and public data, and information from users. The app crowd-sources your own parking information to help make its app better. Providing your parking data is completely optional, however it does help improve the accuracy of the app.
With over 120,000 users in the U.S and Germany, the company is still expanding. Both paid and free versions of ParkNav are available. You can take the app for a “test drive” now by downloading it via Apple iTunes or Google Play.