Use Your Phone to Know Where to Park Before Arriving at Your Destination

For several reasons, most people in major cities don’t have cars. It’s just much more of a chore than it is helpful. Additionally, to keep…

For several reasons, most people in major cities don’t have cars. It’s just much more of a chore than it is helpful. Additionally, to keep a car in a city is too expensive, and public transportation is so easy that it’s unnecessary unless you have to commute out of the metropolitan area frequently. The hassle (as depicted by the Geico commercial) may dissipate as a result of advancements in electronic parking assistance, and as a result, the number of cars in cities could go up.

A step above the oft-used hand drawn maps of parking spots has been a very long time coming. Let’s face it: although we don’t know much better, using physical maps or just driving around and praying in pursuit of a spot is one of the most irritating activities to partake in. However, until the times ahead when we all fly around like Iron Man, we’ll just have to deal with cars. A fantastic intermediary is the small handful of mobile apps that address the issue head-on. Right now, the two top players are Primo Spot and Parking in Motion.

Primo Spot

Primo Spot was first on the scene, showing on-street spots, garages, and even bike racks. For on–street spots, Primo covers New York, Boston, Cambridge, Seattle, and Hoboken, NJ. Garage information, including rates and coupons and photos of the entrance, is available in Boston, Seattle, New York, and a select few major airports. The Google map of street spots is conveniently color-coded, providing rules and pictures of signs to ward off those pesky parking warriors. Next in line for this powerfully useful app is real-time parking spot availability, but how and when this will be done is a mystery at this point.

Parking in Motion

Despite claims by Parking in Motion co-founder Sam Friedman that there is no true competition yet, the Santa Monica based app has to keep a watchful eye on companies like Primo Spot. Parking in Motion does set itself apart, though. The numbers alone are striking: it offers coverage in about 500 cities in two continents, North America and Europe. Parking in Motion utilizes a few resources that others don’t. Due to the use of existing infrastructure and strong relationships with private operators and municipalities, Parking in Motion already does what Primo Spots cannot: serve up instantaneous real-time parking vacancies. You better believe that it has presence in all the cities Primo Spot does, plus many, many more. Constantly improving Parking in Motion is the fact that it’s always expanding globally. The time may come that it covers every major metropolitan area in the world. And better yet, Primo Spot had a two year jump on Parking in Motion, beginning in 2007, with Parking in Motion not emerging until 2009.

It could be that Primo Spots has been slow to adapt, but it’s more likely that Parking in Motion has innovated more quickly than most people can fathom. In a way, it’s the Apple of the growing parking assistance industry. Surely, for both of these services there are soon to be more competitors to look out for. For now though, the industry is theirs for the taking, with Parking in Motion in the lead. The rest of us can sit back and calm our road rage.

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