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Park and pay with your smartphoneNew high-tech parking innovations help eliminate stress, traffic congestion, and even help the economy.
-Okay. [unk] I don't know. It just beeps at me, but it doesn't do anything. There has got to be a better way. Oh, wait, there totally is. I don't think anyone's gonna argue with me here, parking is an area that is ripe for innovation. Whether it's how we pay for it or how we find it. -We're making it easier for people to get to those merchants. So, the city benefits-- -Uh-huh. -because they can increase their revenue. They can reduce congestion. A third of cars that are moving in large cities are no longer in transit. Now, they're doing that blind circling, saying, "Where do I park?" So we can alleviate that second step and alleviate as much as 20 minutes in a journey while we make it really easy to get to that law firm, that flower shop, or that, you know, restaurant. -Silicon Valley-based Streetline is one of the companies rethinking the parking experience. They're building tech so drivers can more easily find parking by showing what spaces are open or occupied. So, is this active data for an area? -Yes. So we can also get a bird's-eye view of how many cars are parked. So, right now, we know right into-- down the individual spaces, what spaces are full and not. Less than two, one or zero, it's red. It's such a dynamic environment which probably not gonna be-- that space is not gonna be left if it's there. -Right. -But, on the other hand, green, four plus, there's enough spaces that even if you're a minute or two away, you can find the parking spaces. -To create these data rich maps, engineers have designed wireless sensors which they embed into the ground in parking spaces. And so, now, this is the hardware? -Yes. -This is the sensor? -Here's the sensor. So, the sensor is a wireless 2.4- gigahertz, little mesh network wonder. -Right. -And the system is put into the pavement. -So, a car pulls in to a spot with a sensor? -Uh huh. -And then, over here, we see the car? -As a matter of fact, right here, our system senses it within about 10 seconds, takes it up to the internet and then back down to reports within about a minute. -I'm just fascinated by all of the changes that could potentially come from this data, like it just gets more powerful by the minute it seems. The data that's gathered gets wrapped up into a neat little mobile app, so you can get voice-guided direction to open parking spaces. Now, this, I have to try. I'm gonna go on a hunt for a parking spot here in downtown San Mateo. It says there's only 17, so I better get moving. -Parking nearby. -Okay. Parking nearby. Let's go find some. Like I had to go to my parking spot, I guess. Okay, you'll be sorry. There's only 17 parking slots in the whole town. Operation: Find Parking. This is officially the most stressful part of the day. Tap this. This doesn't feel like the safest thing ever. Oh, I see, now the line connects to where there's parking. Okay, so, let's see what happens if I turn right. Turn right on the east third, that's us. Let's see if this will just guide us in-- 300 feet-- 150 feet. I don't see any spots. There'd better be a spot right here. Look at that, right where the red dot is. Look at that. Well done. Not bad. I wish it was built-in to the apps so I didn't have to like kinda come out into parking, but yeah, boom, found it. You can start to imagine the possibilities when sensors are everywhere and this kind of data is always available. So, what does the future look like when every parking space has a sensor, potentially every device has some kind of interface for finding parking? -Right. Well, that's a good point. This is a start, right? A mobile app is a start. But where you really wanna push that data is to where the consumers are. Where are they? They're in their cars. They're using NAV system, so we provide that data on API or interface or some sort of data feed to those car manufacturers. They can put that in, integrate it with real-time traffic, integrate it with navigation, integrate it with other services, and bring it all together. Now, parking isn't totally caveman like it used to be. For example, I have a whole collection of apps that let me park anywhere, no quarter is necessary. So, I'm just gonna put a little time on the meter, let's just do 15 minutes because-- let's do even less, nine minutes. I'm just gonna go grab a cup of coffee. Let's start parking. Oh, I got so distracted by Twitter that I forgot that my parking had deactivated. So, I'm gonna just go right on back and add another session. I think I need like, I don't know, just 10 more minutes in the sun. Okay. Now, I'm good.