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Google Maps’ New Parking Feature Underscores Demand in Urban Core

Even Google understands how frustrating parking can be in urban markets.

By now, nearly everyone has utilized the Google Maps features that shows how congested the highways and side streets are on a particular route, and offers the most expedient routes given the real-time traffic.

Now Google Maps is taking it a step further with a similar feature for parking.

According to a recent article in TechCrunch, Google is using historical parking data to calculate a parking difficulty score, which will be presented in the app’s direction card as “Limited,” “Medium,” or “Easy.”

This feature was first spotted in January when users of Google Maps’ beta on Android had access to the addition. The benefits to commuters are clear, as now they can mentally prepare themselves not only for the forthcoming drive, but also the parking situation when they arrive.

For apartment communities in those urban cores that possess a fair amount of extra parking space, the ancillary revenue opportunities are tremendous. Apartment communities in those congested markets can transform their empty spaces into cheaper and more efficient parking options for the local businesses and their employees and visitors.

To be clear, the Google Maps parking feature is still a work in progress. It relies on historical data (such as: this area is usually popular in November) rather than the real-time data, but its anticipated that the feature will quickly gain traction and improve as time passes. For now, Google is launching the feature in the top 25 metros of the U.S., which is perfect. That’s where it will have the most value.

Some tech startups are starting to sprout up in those markets, including ParkiFi in Denver, which offers free parking rewards for people who refer others to its app. The company launches a monthly inventory of spaces it monitors in private lots in the downtown district.

Parking can be as stressful as traffic. Google understands this and is eager to assist Maps users by letting them know what they’re getting into. Renting vacant spaces not only provides relief in dense areas by offering additional parking options, but by monetizing those spaces for the businesses that have them.

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