Of all the pain points that connected cars can potentially solve – real-time traffic reports to dodge gridlock, vehicle-to-vehicle communication to avoid accidents, streaming music and content to stave off boredom – parking is one of the most practical. And connecting drivers with available parking instead of having them circle the block looking for a spot could help reduce road congestion by 20 to 30 percent in cities such as San Francisco.
The traffic data company Inrix is deploying technology to bring relief to commuters by delivering parking info to the dashboards of connected cars, starting with German luxury makes. And it has plans to expand the service and its capabilities.
Today Inrix announced that its Off-Street Parking service is now available in the 2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class and S-Class in the U.S. and Europe. This follows the debut of the feature on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class in June of this year, and in Audi vehicles in 2013. Inrix also announced an on-street parking feature for BMW vehicles in June of last year.
According to Inrix, its Off-Street Parking “is the world’s most comprehensive and accurate parking database that includes more than 29 million confirmed spaces in over 90,000 accessible locations spanning 4,000 cities in more than 60 countries.”
This announcement is indicative of a very substantial move to provide a unified solution,” says Alex Israel, Inrix VP & GM of parking and co-founder of ParkMe, which Inrix acquired last year. [/entity]Israel added that with off-street parking now available in Audi and Mercedes-Benz vehicles and BMW offering on-street via Inrix, will “be announcing partners that can enable both on-street and off-street parking.
“We’re building the only system that will not only let you get in your car and navigate to a parking spot,” he added, “but also be able to pay for it. Whether in Munich or Los Angeles, it’s about having a ubiquitous parking experience.”
And making parking a less painful, and hopefully get traffic flowing a bit better because of it.
Originally published by Forbes.com