Imagine this scenario, you had to drive to your friends place on a Sunday which took you around 25 minutes in total, once you reached there you spend another 25 minutes just to find a parking spot which is a good 10 minutes walk from where your friend lives.
This is a scenario many Americans might be pretty familiar with. Open Parking is a huge problem and finding a spot is always a hassle. In comes Google’s "Open Spot", an Android application which finds open parking spots for you. Open Spot will show you parking spots located within a ~1.5 kilometer (km) / ~.9 mile (mi) radius of your location. As you move, Open Spot will automatically refresh to show you parking spots within a ~1.5 km / ~.9 radius of where you currently are.
Open Spot works by letting people who are leaving parking spots share their spots with people who are searching for parking.
Start helping others find parking, and together we’ll all save time, save gas, and reduce pollution. Like to keep score? The more open spots you mark, the more parking ‘karma points’ you’ll get.
Don’t get very excited yet though, Open Spot does not perform magic on its own to find you an open parking spot, instead it relies on individuals who use the app to mark a location on Google map when they are leaving a parking spot, so that other users who are searching for one in that area can find it.
This app might turn out to be useful, however, there is no guarantee that people will actually use the app to mark a spot every time. In addition to that, the parking spot marked by another user may get taken up by another driver who is nearer than you, thus making your trip to that spot a waste.
Also there might be an issue with users marking fake Parking spots, however, Google has some technology in place to tackle such "griefers" (as they call it) and they will take steps to fix issues if people start adding fake parking spots.
I would be interested to see a full fledged app from Google that makes use of Google Street view and Google Maps to show open parking spots in real-time rather than having to rely on humans to perform the job. Considering that they already have some technology in place to detect fake parking spots, this wouldn’t be hard work, would it? What Say? Did you find your parking spot?