Smartphone App Finds You a Parking Space

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An embedded sensor used in the Cisco and Streetline joint venture

Sensors like this one are embedded into the pavement of street parking spaces in downtown areas in a system by Cisco and Streetline, A Streetline smartphone app named Parker tells drivers where the nearest unoccupied space is located, in addition to other information about parking such as nearby parking lots and garages, pricing, and hours of operation. (Photo courtesy Cisco/Streetline.)

Ever had trouble finding a parking space downtown? A new app from Cisco and Streetline may help you avoid that conundrum.

According to a press release from Cisco, the app– known by the name “Parker”– is capable of telling drivers when a parking space is open. The catch: The parking space must have sensors embedded into the pavement. Sensor-equipped parking spaces feed their information into a network powered by Cisco, which publishes to a free mobile app offered by Streetline for the iOS and Andriod phones.

The other catch: the parking spaces are so far only available in a handful of California cities. Most recently, San Mateo and San Carlos launched the service with 135 sensor-embedded parking spaces.

According to the Cisco presser, the system is designed not only to make parking easier, but to reduce traffic congestion and, as a result, pollution.

Downtown San Mateo Association Executive Director Jessica Evans said, “”Parking is important to the success and vitality of our downtown. This technology will help customers find parking more easily and attract more people to enjoy all that downtown San Mateo has to offer.”

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