The full piece was originally published on TechCrunch.
It’s a scenario that impacts everyone who owns a car: finding parking. People might not think about it or talk about it, but it certainly can be one of those daily frustrations that ignites stress. Traditionally, drivers will circle the block for a coveted on-street parking space or a parking garage that has an affordable hourly rate. However, there is more to parking than white lines, garages and lots.
The parking industry has resisted change well over the last 25 years, but this behemoth of a market – valued at $100 billion worldwide – is transforming. While investors are pouring more than $4 billion into funding on-demand services, the consumer transportation market is anything but in neutral position. The rise of mobile technology has proven it can disrupt just about any sector of the transportation economy, and parking is no exception.
True disruption in this industry can’t be achieved until there is a single-source solution that merges the connected car and predictive parking. Connected cars – the automotive equivalent of a smartphone–communicate with the outside world, have their own wireless networks and in the future will be autonomous. Predictive parking, which is building momentum within mobile parking solutions, predicts where a driver is headed as soon as the app is opened and enables users to book a spot with a single tap.
As companies realize the vast opportunities within parking, many competitors are aspiring to become the definitive solution.
For the technology industry looking to gain traction in this market, the gold-mine opportunity is making parking a frictionless experience. None of the current providers are satisfied with where they stand and are constantly working to increase coverage and service to become the ultimate solution. While all parking apps are sprinting toward that objective, the entire industry still has work to do.
In the meantime, what are your thoughts about the parking industry – and how can we make it less stressful for you?