Smarter Parking, Smarter Cities

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The “smart parking” system we have developed determines the best parking space for a driver in an urban environment for any given destination entered through a smartphone app. It then reserves the space for the driver. Standard GPS technology is used to guide the vehicle to it. The “best” spot is based on criteria specified by the driver that combine proximity to destination with parking cost, while also ensuring that the overall parking capacity is efficiently utilized. Thus, besides the obvious convenience to drivers, the system reduces traffic, as well as fuel consumption and pollution. Moreover, our studies have demonstrated that it increases parking space utilization by 10-20%, therefore increasing revenue for parking operators (garages, lots, or cities in the case of on-street parking.) Overall, the system benefits drivers, the city, and the environment.