With more than 38 million people living in California, a surprisingly low number of on-street public parking spaces are made available. As a result, commuters waste time and experience frustration as they endlessly search to find parking. What we don't know, however, is that this greatly impacts ALL of us, especially homeowners.
The lack of parking spots creates significant traffic in the community. A distinguished research professor in the Department of Urban Planning at UCLA, Donald Shoup, estimates that searching for parking spaces is responsible for 30 percent or more of traffic congestion in cities.
This added congestion also creates about 366,000 excess vehicle miles traveled and produces 325 tons of CO2 per year. If the parking problem continues at its current level, mobility will become less efficient and more costly for everyone involved.
Fortunately, A solution is Coming To Our Cities . . .
Pied Parker, an intelligent parking company in Palo Alto, California, is launching a new technology in the San Francisco Bay Area and Long Beach that will benefit homeowners and drivers. This company is focused on helping homeowners earn extra money (Currently, small driveways are looking at $3,000 a year on average - not too shabby for a slab of asphalt!), while reducing the local traffic around them.
Pied Parker's technology leverages big data to create a stress-free parking experience, allowing homeowners and organizations to rent out their parking spaces, whether those spaces are driveways or parking lots.
This new company's mission is to drastically reduce traffic congestion in major cities, while saving drivers time and adding passive income for homeowners.
"Parking accounts for 30 to 60 percent of all traffic in major cities across the U.S. This is one of the first instances that people are very accepting of technology, where we see homeowners saving time, as well as commuters," said Gianni Maxemin, President of Pied Parker. "Parking space listers will have more time due to the decrease in overall traffic, while drivers will be able to easily find parking before leaving their homes. Pied Parker also creates an ecosystem that separates out parking spaces in dense cities to redirect traffic."
Smart Cities Becoming Smarter
Pied Parker will be accessible in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Berkeley and Long Beach for a special selection of parking space owners. The app is sure to become a much-needed addition to developing smart cities that are taking a more optimized, data-driven approach to urban planning.
After all, the future of transportation will not necessarily be about how to ease congestion, but rather about how to effectively price and manage the load we expect to see now and in the future.
For instance, a study recently noted that parking is actually oversupplied by 65 percent on average and by 45 percent in areas where the study was to ease a parking shortage. This should lead commuters and city officials to wonder if parking problems are actually due to a lack of information. Regardless, our cities need shared help from homeowners and Pied Parker is looking to carry that massive weight with them.
Consequently, municipalities are taking aim at re-examining parking design and administration. Smart cities across America are now coming up with integrated, smart transportation systems that use data and technology to help people solve mobility issues.
The concept behind Pied Parker seamlessly integrates with smart cities.
"PiedParker is a perfect example of technology that city leaders can harness when the status quo just isn't moving fast enough," said Long Beach Councilwoman, Jeannine Pearce. "We needed more parking, so we brought together residents, business owners, an innovative tech startup to get the job done. Now we will be rolling out 300 spots here in Long Beach, which will transform mobility in our city and create a better future for my constituents from traffic relief to building community. The first part of this app that caught my eye, was the human element. They canvass neighborhoods and have neighbors talking to neighbors to get the word out, investing in civic engagement while finding tangible solutions to issues like parking will always have a lasting affecting beyond technology in building community. Pied-Parker is innovative and inspiring."
On the other side of the spectrum, homeowners and organizations benefit by renting out their extra parking spaces, allowing them to earn passive income. Homeowners also have easy access their earnings and can see when renters come and go.
Ah, the wonders of the world we live in and integrated smart cities!
More Parking for Self-Driving Cars and EV
Pied Parker is also focused on creating more parking spaces for self-driving cars and electric vehicles (EV), both of which have become increasingly popular.
The timing for this couldn't be better, considering the recent complaints about the lack of available electric vehicle infrastructure at Tesla supercharger slots. Drivers have been using Tesla's superchargers as free parking spots, leaving their cars on the chargers even after they are fully charged.
As a result, Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, announced that Tesla was going to charge $0.40 per minute for a Tesla left standing at a charging station after a five-minute grace period. Pied Parker users, however, will also have the option to park their electric vehicles. They plan to help electric vehicle drivers later this year by increasing the inventory infrastructure for these car owners.
The ability for commuters to park intelligently is sure to create change in the transportation industry.
Pied Parker could be the new kids on the block, but I for one, am rooting for them. However, the real win-win situation will come in time. As more people use Pied Parker, I hope we see a positive transformation in traffic, a decrease in carbon emissions, and a more efficient way to live our lives.