KP Fellow Application Product Challenge
What is a product that does not yet exist but should?
Briefly explain what the product is, provide a broader analysis on why it plays such a significant role, and come up with any recommendations you might have for future improvements. You can provide your submission as a link to your blog post or video.
Navigation apps that automatically help drivers find the closest parking spot based on the destination input.
According to the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy forum, an estimated 30% of fuel is wasted due to vehicles navigating in search of parking, which is the equivalent of 18.6 billion pounds of carbon emissions annually. On average, the average American spends 17 hours a year, which translates to around $345 in wasted gas. Not to mention that the search for parking is a contributing factor to city congestion. From an environmental and user experience perspective, this could change the way we experience traveling by car.
Further improvements down the pipeline could be integrating real-time parking availability through IoT sensors, city parking spot reservation and payment systems. I can imagine a smart city where my navigation application finds the closest parking spot available based on my estimated arrival time, reserves the parking spot between my arrival time and my estimated departure time, and allows me to pay for parking all in one go.
Unsurprisingly challenges do present themselves when it comes to actual implementation of this idea. As of now, the best navigation applications in the market are all owned by large corporations. Granting these corporations access to each individual car, car owner and city parking availability information could present serious challenges to privacy and security. The infrastructure necessary to make this dream a reality could be costly to build. A pilot deployment might still need to reach a certain scale to have an effect, so on and so forth. But I believe as we head towards smart cities, a world in which this product does exist might not be so far off in the future.