When Astrid posted this article from “Cult of Mac” a Bay Area Blog on Parknews.biz I was excited. Wow, something that worked and worked well. The Title was catchy: “This app will guide you to parking, and may get you a ticket, too.” The article spoke highly of the creator of the new app and how it was going to make San Francisco a parking paradise.
Its neat. The App works like Garmin and tells you verbally how to get to a parking space you select, both on and off street. No need to look at your phone and run into the police car in front of you.
The article infers that the infrastructure behind the app was 8000 sensors located on- street in San Francisco. – That the new sensors replaced the existing sensors installed as a part of SFPark that were turned off in 2013 and these new puppies were merrily sending data back to the app and letting people park easily and quickly in Baghdad by the Bay, saving according to the app creator, 3,000,000 driving minutes a day.
Anything smell a bit fishy? Your intrepid blogger contacted the app’s creator, David Leboa at VoicePark and asked a few pertinent questions.
1. Did you use the sensors provided from Streetline and Streetsmart in San Francisco for your tests there.
A: Yes, but their data was not good enough for use to reliably provide information to the app users. The data was in the 70% range of accuracy and we needed something better, at least 95% or people won’t use the app.
2. So you didn’t really have a viable test of the app in San Francisco.
A. If we had had good data, it would have worked perfectly.
3. So what sensor do you use and did you deploy it in San Francisco>
A. We use a sensor from Smartparking. Its in use to great success in London. We have not deployed in San Francisco because there are some legal issues to be worked out.
3. So where have you deployed sensors.
A. Mumble, mumble, mumble
4. Where are you going to deploy?
A. Next Month in a small town in the wine country north of San Francisco.
5. So basically the article about deployment and success in San Francisco was bogus?
A. Well, ahem, when you discuss software, hardware deployment, apps, and the like with reporters, sometimes the resulting article is jumbled.