Parking is a problem
The struggles of parking are everywhere. Parkit was conceptualized when the final chunk of my student loan was used to pay off a parking ticket. We spend too long searching for a space, get in arguments about spaces we do find and often abandon our search. Even when we do find parking, searching for signs to indicate if we’re parked legally and the anxiety associated with legal parking, fees and fines is enough to cause stress before even starting the day.
Parkit is a community-driven service that addresses these issues by taking out some of the tougher steps; finding a parking space and understanding the area’s parking rules. Parkit takes users to nearby FREE parking spaces, cutting down the stress of creeping down back streets leaning in to check each gap for yellow lines and the confusion caused by unclear regulations on parking signs.
Eliminating the hunt
The first thing Parkit aimed to remove was the need to find parking spaces to begin with. This meant the app had to know where you were headed to present you with available options. There’s also the stress of returning to a previous destination and having to remember where you’ve had success in the past. Simply entering your destination in the app allows Parkit to scan the area for you, rather than driving around the area or panning around on a map to find where you’re going.
To the end user, Parkit is displaying viable spaces within close proximity and opening their preferred navigational app to get directions, but behind the scenes Parkit is using the Google Maps API to calculate the driving and walking distances to these spaces from the location provided to understand how close a spot really is. Things like one-way streets, roads without pedestrian walkways, toll roads and dense-traffic are all taken into account so Parkit can provide the user with the best suggestions, not just the ones that appear closest.
Driven by users
People’s time and money is on the line when using Parkit, so it’s important suggestions are correct and up-to-date. Free parking is not easily accessible data so requesting users keep the system working seemed the most logical solution. The ability to add a new parking space from the home screen was an obvious early decision as it allowed a database of spaces to begin building. If a user is navigating to a pre-determing parking space, they will then be given a quick one-tap feedback option once they have reached their location. This allows for spaces to be automatically removed if the majority of feedback about the submitted space is negative and allows Parkit to adjust suggestions in future based on user’s findings.
The purpose of running Parkit as a community-driven service is to be able to cover worldwide locations and keep them as current as possible to reflect changes in regulations and availability in an infinite range of areas without waiting for third-party databases to update or relying on information to be supplied by specific councils.