For those not in the know, Waze is Google’s crowdsource traffic navigator that does more than get you where you’re going. The ‘social network on the road’ allows users to actively report the locations of speed traps, debris, and stranded vehicles. Now Waze is tackling one of the most frustrating parts about driving in the city: finding parking.
This is actually something of a trickier problem than live traffic reporting, which may seem counterintuitive. Live traffic is actually sussed out by Google, which actively tracks the location and velocity of smartphones moving along the road. But how do you determine the best parking spot?
For this, Waze actually turned to a data firm called INRIX. INRIX has already been providing parking data solutions to the likes of Audi, BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Toyota, and Volkswagen. They pull from a bevy of data sources to determine how much parking is estimated to be available at a given location as well as live pricing information that takes into account local events (which have a tendency to hike up the price of parking).
Waze’s new “where to park” feature therefore integrates robust data into a seamless and easy-to-use interface. A few taps, and it will direct you to the nearest, least expensive parking location with available parking spots. Pretty slick.
If you haven’t given Waze a whirl, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. The app is free, and it comes with built in game-like features that let you compete with others on the road in fun little challenges. Click the button below to try it out for yourself, then let us know what you think of it and its new “where to park” feature in the comments below!