BY KURT SCHLOSSER
When it comes to in-car connectivity and navigation features, getting from point A to point B is nice, but what drivers really want is the ability to know in real time whether there is a parking spot around the corner.
INRIX, the Kirkland, Wash.-based transportation analytics company, announced Thursday that its On-Street Parking service will be available in the new BMW 5 Series sedan. The BMW service is available in Seattle and eight other U.S. cities — Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C, as well as the German cities of Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart. Additional cities will be added.
A recent INRIX Connected & Autonomous Vehicle Consumer Survey found that 72 percent of respondents said real-time parking availability is the navigation feature they desire the most in their cars.
“Real-time parking is the most sought-after navigation feature because it addresses a pain point that affects everyone,” Joe Berry, vice president and general manager of automotive at INRIX, said in a news release. “The first automotive deployment of INRIX On-Street Parking solidifies BMW’s position at the forefront of connected car technology with a focus on delivering the services drivers want the most.”
The feature works through INRIX’s collection of information from a variety of sources — historical and real-time data from meters, cars and sensors. The service knows, for example, how many vehicles drive or stop on a particular street and how many of them have plugged a meter for whatever length of time. All of this anonymous data is fed into an algorithm to come up with the probability of finding a spot on a particular street.
The BMW 5 Series also includes a real-time traffic service from INRIX which provides up-to-the-minute and predictive traffic flow information for routes, travel times, and alerts to accidents and incidents on over five million miles of roads, the release noted.