A new e-commerce company called SpotScout is enabling urban drivers to use the Web to find the nearest, cheapest, and (curiously) highest-rated parking spots near their destinations. The service enables drivers to reserve private parking spots from their computers before setting out or to use Web-enabled mobile devices to search for parking "departure times" at public spots on the fly.
Using a database of available parking inventory supplied by parking-spot owners and operators, SpotScout provides users with Web-based accounts through which they can personalize settings and search available spots according to a number of criteria, including price, proximity, disabled access, on-street or garage parking. Drivers are also given the option to rate parking spots--presumably those situated beneath trees containing particularly productive pigeons are scored down.
SpotScout is also touted as a service to participating private and commercial parking-spot owners (dubbed SpotCasters), who are given a software package enabling them to set the price of their available driveway or garage space in real time according to demand. SpotCasters sign up as searchable destinations to become part of the SpotScout network, and while SpotCasting is limited to owners or operators of private parking spaces to begin with, SpotScout's Web site suggests that details on public SpotCasting will be made available soon.
According to All Headline News, SpotScout is due for launch in September, with Boston, Manhattan, and San Francisco showing the most interest in the service. Being based in San Francisco, I can attest to the need for this kind of service because...sorry, my parking meter has expired--I have to go move my car.
Source: All Headline News