Am I “evolving” on Parking Apps?

I have not been the biggest booster on parking apps for cell phones. These critters enable you to download available parking space locations and directions to the spaces. Some can also allow you to reserve space near your destination.

My issue has been two fold. First why not just drive to where you are going, turn in at a sign that says “park here” and park. Why complicate your life with directions and the like, and perhaps drive by a cheaper space just because your GPS said to park somewhere else.

Second, I’m concerned about the use of apps when you are driving. Let’s face it, we all do it, check our email or respond to a text while on the road, but frankly its dangerous and illegal. So what am I supposed to do with a parking app. When I approach my destination, am I to pull over and deal with the app, or what?

On the radio this AM I heard about a SIGALERT app available in LA. It would enable you to know where the traffic problems are and how to get around them, instantly, on your smartphone. I guess you key in your route and it ‘beeps’ at you when there is a problem ahead. I thought “gee, that sounds neat.”

It occurred to me that maybe a lot of people feel the same when considering parking apps. The “Gee” factor is there. My guess is that if you are under 50 you will probably think having an app for finding parking would be the ‘bees knees.”

So, although the jury is out for JVH, perhaps as we become more used to smart phones and the convenience they can bring, parking apps may not be so bad, after all.


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4 Responses to Am I “evolving” on Parking Apps?

  1. rta says:

    Before you start getting swayed by the “GEE” factor you ought to read this press relase from AAA;


    As well as the study to which it refers;


    This statement from the study is interesting;

    “Increasingly, car manufacturers and third-party providers are presenting consumers with options to make movie or dinner reservations, send and receive text or e-mail messages, make postings on Facebook, interact with global position systems, and utilize voice commands for controlling functions of the vehicle. The lessons learned from the current research suggest that such voice-based interaction is not risk-free, and in some instances the impairments to driving may rise to the level associated
    with drunk driving (McEvoy et al., 2005; Redelmeier & Tibshirani, 1997; Strayer, Drews, & Crouch, 2006). Just because a new technology does not take the eyes off the road does not make it safe to be used while the vehicle is in motion.”

  2. Ralph K. says:

    “Let’s face it, we all do it, check our email or respond to a text while on the road, but frankly its dangerous and illegal.”

    I beg to disagree-we do not all do it!
    But I do agree with your coolness toward these apps.

    • JVH says:

      RTA: Yep — perhaps we should have no one in the car except the driver, no radio, no nothing, then no distractions. OMG at some point we have to rely on the good sense of the driver.

      Ralph: Heh we all don’t do it, and we all stop at stop signs, never drive over the speed limit, pay every bit of tax owed, and of course believe in the tooth fairy.

  3. Being a parking operator that launched an app a year ago (the first in greece) I can say these:

    1. JVH’s points are valid in some degree. For example, I guess we all should be careful of how we use these devices when we drive.
    2. Our thesis is that the main benefit to the consumer by using these apps is convenience and “path to value” as we call it. Consumers are busy, time-strapped and look for value for their money. So, we have designed our app to provide just these goodies: all the car park info is there, a photo of the entrance is there, you can take advantage of special offers (not pushed), you can use the “car finder” feature and we plan to offer “pay by mobile” quite soon.

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