08-01-13

Live Parking Information with Audi Connect Service

Courtesy of FoxNews.com - With the Telematics show in Detroit at the beginning of June came dozens of announcements on new in-dash services from music streaming to smart phone apps. One company and their update seemed to stand out among the rest and could actually make a big difference in your driving experience: Audi will be updating the Audi Connect service to include live parking information.

“This service is meant to make the experience in your vehicle more enjoyable,” Audi’s senior manager for connected vehicles, Pom Mulhotra, told FoxNews.com.The parking information update will allow drivers to find the nearest available lot, as well as the cheapest option.

The parking information data includes static information on garages, such as entrance locations and hours of operation, compiled by the navigation and traffic firm Inrix. Live information is harder to update, and only a few garages can give spot availability information to drivers. In order to obtain live information, garage operations would have to install an automated system or use human attendants to estimate spot availability in their garage.

According to Inrix’s Mark Pendergrast, the service currently covers about 18,000 garages in the U.S., though only 2,000 provide real-time information. The vast majority of the lots available are in the top 20 metropolitan areas, and Pedergrast said garage owners who were hesitant to share their pricing and availability online are warming up to the idea, as they want to fill empty spaces. Therefore, drivers can expect to see more parking information in their vehicles in the future.

While Audi’s Connect service paves the way for other automakers, Audi isn’t stopping there. The company has already demonstrated their version of the autonomous car. This car goes beyond finding empty parking spots; it will drop you off at your destination and then park itself, even paying on its exit.

“We think it will be real within this decade,” says Audi’s Mulhotra, “but the future assumes that this type of parking data is readily available and then the car can use that data and chart its way to its own spot.”