Ford Connectivity Finds Available Urban Parking

Ford has teamed up with telco giant Vodafone to help its consumers to find parking spaces in congested urban environments.

It’s a bid to combat the growing pressures of big city parking “cruising” thought to be responsible for an estimated 30% of urban traffic. At the same time UK data suggests that some local authority car park occupancy rates can be as low as 50%.

Now the carmaker is testing new connected-vehicle Parking Space Guidance technology that could make it easier to find parking spaces in city centers. The system shows drivers the number of spaces offered by nearby car parks and how to get to them.

Parking Space Guidance is being trialed as part of the €15M ($17M) cross-industry KoMoD (Kooperative Mobilität im digitalen Testfeld Düsseldorf) program, in Germany. As test vehicles drive through the city, they receive road status and car park information from a central computer system, based on their geolocation, along with information from nearby dynamic digital road signs.

Tobias Wallerius, engineer, product development, Ford of Europe, said: “Satnavs are great at helping us to get to our destination but aren’t so useful when it comes to helping us to park there – especially in city centers. Parking Space Guidance is a connected vehicle technology that could help drivers to more quickly complete their journey, saving them money, time and benefiting overall air quality.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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