Two technology companies are teaming up to offer drivers the ability to search for, reserve and pay for parking spots from the center screen of their car.
Washington-based Inrix specializes in locating available parking in urban areas, while Atlanta-based ParkMobile specializes in paying for parking remotely. They are joining forces to offer a seamless experience for drivers that’s meant to remove the stress of remembering to feed the meter or circling for an open spot.
“The ecosystem of mobile and parking solutions is complex and fragmented,” said Jon Ziglar, CEO of ParkMobile. “To date, the industry has not consolidated all the services, capabilities and parking inventory into a single solution. Through our coordinated development efforts with Inrix, we will deliver a holistic parking solution the auto industry can deploy quickly and efficiently into the connected car.”
The companies were scheduled to make the announcement Wednesday morning at the International Parking Institute conference in Nashville.
Parkmobile is available in 35 U.S. cities including Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.
In 2010, Fontinalis Partners LLC, a Michigan-based strategic investment firm co-founded by Bill Ford Jr., invested in Parkmobile. And in 2014, Ford Motor Co. announced it would use Parkmobile on its Sync infotainment system to let drivers pay for parking with voice commands and a per-registered credit card.
Inrix offers its services at 90,000 locations across seven continents (including one parking lot in Antarctica).
Inrix has offered an app that finds off-street parking at garages and lots since 2013. In 2015, it added an on-street app that use sensors in smart meters along certain city streets to show drivers a red-yellow-green heat map on their GPS. Green means parking is available; red means look elsewhere. If meters are broken or don’t have the technology, an algorithm predicts with up to 80 percent accuracy where spots should be open.
The collaborative system, meant to be built in to cars, will be available this year, according to Alex Israel, vice president and general manager of parking at Inrix. He said the two companies will announce in the near future what automakers plan to use it.
“We’re bringing a solution to the market that’s needed by automotive manufacturers,” he said.