Google Maps gets a ‘parking difficulty’ feature

Google is adding a new feature to Google Maps for Android to help users plan their hunt for a parking space when arriving at a destination. The new feature will provide information on parking difficulty at a destination in 25 metro areas in the U.S. The information will be provided via an icon to help users assess whether they need to be ready to just pull up to their destination or if they may be circling the block for a while in search of a parking space.

The icon will appear at the bottom of the Google Maps screen in the directions card after you have entered your starting and ending locations. Google says the level of difficulty will be rated on a scale ranging from “limited” to “medium” to “easy.” The icon itself is a round circle with a letter P on it.

Apps like Google Maps or Google’s own competing product Waze have been adding live traffic updates to help users anticipate travel times or even reroute to account for incidents in real-time. Adding in data on parking difficulty is consistent with this framework of trying to help users get where they want to be when they want to be there. A downside to the new feature though is that it is not based on live data. Instead, Google is using historical data, which they say is the same source for the “Popular Times and Visit Duration” data presented for some destinations. Still, the parking information should be helpful for users traveling to an area they may be unfamiliar with.

For now the new feature is rolling out to the following markets:

  • San Francisco,
  • Seattle,
  • Miami,
  • Atlanta,
  • Boston,
  • Charlotte,
  • Chicago,
  • Detroit,
  • Los Angeles,
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul,
  • New York City,
  • Orlando,
  • Philadelphia,
  • Pittsburgh,
  • San Diego,
  • St. Louis,
  • Tampa,
  • Washington, DC,
  • Cleveland,
  • Dallas/Fort Worth,
  • Denver,
  • Houston,
  • Phoenix,
  • Portland and
  • Sacramento.

source: Google


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, and an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his wife and kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active in his church, a local MINI Cooper car club, and his daughter's soccer club. Jeff is married, has three kids, and a golden retriever.