Driving in circles, searching in vain for an open parking spot is a stressful experience we all dread. Coupled with the uncertainties of traffic and trip-planning, parking adds another layer of frustration to a hectic commute.
But what if we could use real-time traffic data to make on-street parking easier and more predictable? Using machine learning and real-time data, that’s what ParkNav hoped to accomplish—taking the stress out of parking.
To make their idea a reality, the team of data scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs behind ParkNav came to Forte Group.
To accurately predict where open parking spots can be found requires a mass of real-time data. Street parking availability is highly volatile and can be affected by numerous factors such as time of day, weather, and nearby events, making this data difficult to measure. To build a highly-functional mobile application, ParkNav needed to capitalize on their machine learning ability while incorporating feedback from thousands of its users.
Forte Group helped ParkNav build an application that combines the company’s database of parking information with traffic data to create precise, accurate, and real-time recommendations.
Because ParkNav is a tool that needs to be used quickly by people on the move, the user interface (UI) and usability were especially important. The Forte UI team improved the usability of the app to optimize the user experience. Users can enter their desired parking area and the application displays the results in green, orange, and red. Each color represents a different level of predicted parking difficulty, based on data. Green areas have the most open parking spots, orange zones are less ideal than green, and red sections are unlikely to have available spots.
This predictive parking data is updated in real time. What’s more, users can filter the results according to the type of parking they’re looking for, as the map includes free, zoned, and metered spots, or they can search for nearby parking garages. Users can also save their preferences in the app, making the whole search experience more pleasant and stress-free.
With Forte Group’s help, the ParkNav app reduces the time it takes to locate a parking spot by 70 percent. The app has expanded to over 240 cities across the U.S. and Europe. In 2016, ParkNav was awarded the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference Accelerator Enterprise and Smart Data prize. ParkNav has also used its machine learning and big data processing capabilities in other industries, offering its data to help real estate, automotive, and internet companies.