The stress of searching for elusive empty bays in busy car parks may one day be a thing of the past, thanks to new â€œcollaborative parkingâ€ technology being tested on the streets â€“ and in the car parks â€“ of Milton Keynes, in the U.K.
Drivers can spend, on average, more than a day each year looking for parking spaces, according to a new study commissioned by Ford â€“ and the new technology, being tested this week, displays a â€œcrowd-sourcedâ€ map of available spaces, specifically in formal car parks. *
â€œWe understand how much wasted time and unnecessary stress is caused by searching for parking spaces in towns and cities,â€ said Christian Ress, supervisor, Automated Driving Europe, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. â€œWith our research into â€˜collaborative parkingâ€™, we see an opportunity to hand that time back to drivers, helping them enjoy happier, healthier and more efficient journeys.â€
Ford is among project partners to have developed â€œcollaborative parkingâ€ and other vehicleâ€‘toâ€‘infrastructure technologies as part of the UK Autodrive project â€“ a Â£20 million government-sponsored programme taking self-driving and connected-car technologies from the test track to the streets. With parking spaces in towns and cities across Europe increasingly difficult to find, it is hoped technology like this could help. **
â€œCollaborative parkingâ€ is powered by data from the parking sensors of vehicles using the car park. This informs the map that shows which spaces may be free â€“ and can also incorporate data from the car parksâ€™ own monitoring systems. Previously, as part of UK Autodrive, Ford and partners have showcased systems that warn when emergency services vehicles need to overtake, and when cars unseen up ahead â€“ perhaps hidden by a bend in the road â€“ brake suddenly.