Introduction: "quickpark" is a hassle-free and technologically savvy way to find parking spots and make parking payments for San Diegans. With enabling payments for parking spots via hand-held devices, this app delivers substantial functionality over and above any parking based app currently available in Google Play(TM) app store, per our research. It uses the parking data sets made available by CCDC in order to qualify for the AT&T San Diego Apps Challenge.
Features and Benefits: Some noteworthy features of this app and benefits thus derived are:
- Allows users to browse parking locations, and navigate to a parking location.
- Enables payments for parking, thus obviating the need to carry quarters and the hassle of finding them. This way, users have a payment option in case the parking meter is not functioning properly. Many drivers who prefer to park with private lots due to the unavailability of quarters can now park with CCDC parking spots, thus increasing revenues for the City.
- Allows users to increase parking time by paying for additional time on their handset. This way users donot have to return back to their car to increase parking time. Think convenience!
- Remembers parking location, and navigates users to their parked cars.
- Maintains a history of parking payments.
- Features an admin login page for a city official to view information about parked cars, including the ability to view spots with expired parking times. For a parking enforcement officer, this means minimal driving around to check each and every parking spot for expiration.
- Displays parking rules and regulations.
This app is written for Google's Android(TM) operating system. To verify users, the app uses Google's Federated Login authentication, while it uses Google's In-App payment mechanism to handle payments. This app has been tested on multiple Android-based handsets, such as:
Motorola Atrix(TM). HTC Thunderbolt(TM). HTC Evo(TM) 4G. Samsung S2 Skyrocket(TM). It has currently only been tested on smartphone devices, but should as easily work on tablets and other hand-held Android devices featuring a GPS system. It is not currently available on the Google Play store for download, so we are providing a link to our app with this submission.
Future scope: This app has a tremendous scope for future expansion. We are targetting two strategies for expansion:
- Functionality expansion: In the future, we intend to enable users to not only view nearby parking spots, but also find the nearest available parking spot. We envision a San Diego Downtown on a busy Saturday evening, where you could drive in and discover the closest available parking spot at your fingertips, while also paying for it in advance as you drive over to the spot. This will be another huge feature and will need some additional backend support from the City of San Diego. With this feature, San Diegans will save on plenty of time, gas and effort spent fruitlessly circling in search of a parking spot. We also hope to incorporate parking information from private vendors, such as Ace Parking, thus making it a complete one-stop parking application for San Diegans.
- Platform expansion: We also intend to make this app available across multiple platforms, including Apple's iOS (TM) operating system. We will have multiple user authentication and payment options, including AOL(TM), PayPal(TM) and Hotmail(TM). This will allow us to open our app to the benefit of as many users as possible.
Final note: In developing this app, we considered several parking related inconveniences that we have faced over the years, and which can now be ameliorated in an age of technology and information. We have spoken with several friends and families as to what improvements they would like, and have developed a prototype that addresses their needs. We thank the City of San Diego and the Mayor's office for providing us with this opportunity to serve and impact our local commmunity. We also thank the CCDC and City of San Diego Parking Districts for making the parking data sets available to us.