"It is estimated that about 30 percent of the cars circling a city at any given time are doing so as drivers look for parking. Aside from the frustration factor, those cars are creating traffic congestion, viewed by survey respondents as being the single most significant societal change affecting the parking industry. From an environmental standpoint, that translates to incalculable amounts of wasted fuel and carbon emissions.” This is from the International Parking Institute (IPI) 2012 Emerging Trends in Parking Study.
Parking is not just about parking anymore. For the first time since the survey was initiated in 2012, the desire for new technology and more livable, walkable communities emerged as the single-most significant societal change affecting the parking industry. Since we are programmers we decided to help with technology and probably the best one yet. Say hello to Crowd Park.
What is Crowd Park ?
Crowd Park is a community based iOS app for finding nearby available parking spot. Think of it as a Waze for parking. Crowd Park is a completely hands free solution built with OpenXC platform and complies with Fords In-Vehicle Approval Criteria. It is also available as a web app to plan a trip ahead at the convenience of your home. For vehicles other than Ford we use the Trnql framework to determine when the user is in a vehicle and driving.
How it works ?
Using crowd park is really straight forward. Download the app and login using Facebook. Pick the make and model of the vehicle you drive and you are good to go. One can also use the web app to login and manage vehicles.
Simply fire open the app before you start driving. Crowd Park uses trnql framework to track the geo-location of the phone or OpenXC in case of Ford cars (when the phone is connected to the car) to show a heat map of nearby parking spots. These parking spots are discovered by other drivers who happen to check-in and checkout at a particular spot through Crowd Park.
We use trnql to monitor when the user is driving and walking and manipulate the app controls. Our goal is to map every single parking spot available and help drivers find parking a breeze and avoid traffic congestions and accidents.
Crowd Park at the very moment heavily depends on the community to be a success. We are also working with other parking service providers, the city and county to aggregate all the available parking data to make Crowd Park the to go app for finding parking. Crowd Park is available as an iOS and Web app.
We are just getting started. Below are the features we are actively working on. Winning this challenge would help us a lot with what we intend to achieve.
Reward users for discovering new parking spots and submitting parking rules and add gaming techniques to motive the users to keep using the app and make the interaction more entertaining.
Provide analytics and service information about the vehicle and find great deals by partnering with merchants and dealerships.
Add voice commands while on driving mode
Pay for parking
REST API's for developers to integrate with Crowd Park.
Create a hardware device using OpenXC platform which could be plugged-in to the car for automatically check-in and checkout without any user interaction and also provide other services related to the vehicle the user own.