For the 80% of the U.S. population that lives in urban areas, looking for a parking spot is an unpleasant aspect of daily life. But as frustrating as it can be for drivers, it’s far worse for the economy and the environment. According to smart parking company Streetline, 30% of traffic is caused by people looking for parking. Circling the block or a lot increases the average vehicle’s CO2 emissions by 10%, and 70 million hours a year are lost to the process.
One of the solutions to all of these inefficiencies is a Smart Parking Ecosystem from Streetline that starts with sensors embedded in parking spots. The sensors report available spots in real time to the company’s ParkerTM app, and drivers find not only the nearest spot, but the quickest way to get there. Plus, hands-free features include a voice option that announces when parking is available nearby, and a feature that turns the phone into a guidance system. The app is integrated with the two largest parking payment companies, allowing users to pay and add meter time using their smartphone.
Streetline estimates that if 100,000 people use the ParkerTM app three times a week, the emissions savings would total more than 3 billion lbs. of CO2. Restoring those 70 million hours spent on searching would add $1 billion to the economy. Additionally, businesses in districts with the technology would undoubtedly be more attractive to consumers, boosting municipal tax revenue.
Most of us have to drive our cars, but Smartline’s innovative technology offers a solution that makes the necessary evil of parking not only far more sustainable, but much easier.