Hate Looking for Parking? Google Has an Answer

Google Labs has just released a new Android app that aims to help users find and share parking. It's called Open Spot and works by letting people who are leaving parking spots share their spots with people who are searching for parking.


Have you driven around aimlessly, trying to find a parking spot? I know I have and whether it’s on a street corner or in a shopping mall, Google is hoping to crowdsource a solution that can save, gas, pollution and ultimately time.


Open Spot will show you parking spots located within about a mile radius of your location. While moving, Open Spot will automatically refresh to show you parking spots within about a mile radius of where you currently located. Spots are removed from the map after 20 minutes.


The Google FAQ has more on this:

We know that 20 minutes is a long time for a parking spot to stay open, but we think that more information about available parking is better than less.


There are some issues and limitations to this new service:


  • No fresh spots available

    They will remove spots from the map after 20 minutes. Although 20 minutes is a long time for a parking spot to stay open in places where parking is hard to find, they think that knowing where someone has recently left a parking spot might be useful information.

  • Not enough users near you

    Another reason you might not see any parking nearby is there may not be enough Open Spot users in your area. 


Just getting people to use the app is going to be the biggest challenge. It’s the sort of clever solution that I could see using once or twice and then utterly forgetting about.


All in all, this just looks great on paper but may be too much work for too little payoff to gain lots of traction. But this is from Google Labs so this is not a app they are fully pushing. If it gets some traction, I'm sure Google will bundle it with another app or newer version of Android. Maybe 3.0? Who knows - only time will tell. Still a clever idea.


Android owners can download the app now and give it a try.


Would you be interested in using an app to find parking spots? Let me know in the comments!

Posted via email from Neville's Blog

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