The Idea: There are already websites that help drivers find places to park, but they rely on user to post when spots open up.ParkSense uses in-ground sensors, rather than users, to provide the information instantly. When a vehicle approaches, the sensor’s ambient magnetic field is alerted. From there, the sensor assesses whether or not the space is occupied by a vehicle.
The sensors are also connected by a wireless radio network, another way to report if a spot has opened up. Drivers can use the ParkSense iPhone app to see which sensor-equipped parking spots are available nearby.
ParkSense sensors last three years before their batteries need to be changed. They can be used indoors and outdoors, and are intended for public areas where traffic congestion is problematic.
Whose idea: Smartgrains
Why we’re not convinced: In-ground sensors are certainly useful, but only if enough of them are put in. Putting millions in one by one would take a while, not to mention streets don’t often have set parking spots. What if a car parks in between two sensors one day, and everything gets misaligned? There are plenty of terrible parkers to foil this plan.
A project this large in scale would take a lot of time and effort to implement effectively. And changing batteries every three years would be a major pain.
If the idea were to take off, however, many urban drivers would find ParkSense to be a godsend.
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