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US tech giant IBM is teaming up with a startup called Streetline in a bid to take the pain out of parking.
According to IBM, the service will play a massive role in alleviating congestion in large cities. The company says that an estimated 30% of city traffic is made up of people driving around in search of parking.
The two companies have designed a system called “Smarter Parking”, which combines IBM’s data analytics capabilities with Streetline’s innovations in parking sensors and software.
Streetline’s sensors, which operate at extremely low power levels, are placed at parking spaces and can detect whether or not a vehicle is present.
The information is then relayed in real-time to city networks and free apps available on Android and iOS smartphones.
City traffic handlers can use the data to track trends or set parking rates, while drivers can steer to available spaces.
“Parking is one of those universal challenges that most people around the globe can relate to,” said Streetline chief executive Zia Yusuf.
“Cities now have a turn-key Smarter Parking solution that can produce tangible results and happier citizens.”
IBM entered into the partnership following a survey of 20 cities including Beijing, Paris and Los Angeles.
Six out of ten motorists polled said that in the past year they had grown so frustrated hunting for parking that they had given up and changed plans.
“Clearly, drivers worldwide are facing frustration and pain, not only during the daily commute, but also when searching for a parking spot,” said IBM director of intelligent transportation systems Vinodh Swaminathan.
IBM rated the 20 cities with what it calls a “Parking Index” based on factors including how long it took to find a spot and whether squabbles or citations or both were involved.
The toughest city for parking was deemed to be New Delhi, followed closely by Bangalore and then Beijing.
Chicago was rated the easiest of the cities for parking, ranking just ahead of notoriously car-obsessed Los Angeles.
“There is a massive amount of transportation data available that can help cities alleviate congestion and improve transportation services, such as parking,” said IBM Smarter Cities general manager Gerry Mooney.
The partnership with Streetline is part of IBM’s “Smarter Traffic” campaign.