Innovation That Matters

Auction app connects drivers leaving a spot with those seeking one

Work & Lifestyle

Parking Auction have introduced an auction style web app to combat the wasted time and fuel spent looking for available parking spots in Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Parking can be problematic in any urban area, but in cities like New York and Los Angeles, the frustration — and volume of waste emissions — continues to reach new heights. In a study of one part of Brooklyn, for example, drivers in search of a parking spot accounted for a full 45 percent of city traffic; in another on the Upper West Side, it was found that people drive some 366,000 miles each year looking for a place to park. So notes Parking Auction, a New York company that uses an auction model to help solve the problem. Now focusing on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Parking Auction’s mobile web application uses a real-time auction to connect drivers leaving a spot with those looking for one. Users with a spot to share begin by indicating where it’s located along with specifications including any limitations on the spot, what they’d like to be paid and what kind of car they drive. Also required is a mobile phone number to which receipts can be sent. Potential buyers, meanwhile, indicate corresponding details of their own, including how soon they need to find a spot and what kind of car they drive. When buyer and seller agree on a bid, the spot can change hands. It’s important to note that it’s not actually the spot that’s for sale on Parking Auction — most, after all, are public property. Rather, it’s the information that one is about to open up. “A logistics company selling information about the fastest route to take isn’t selling the road,” as the company points out. If another driver arrives and snags the spot before the buyer arrives, meanwhile, there’s nothing to be done, and the planned exchange won’t take place. While Parking Auction is in beta, users get 50 “Parking Auction Credits” for use buying and selling spots, but eventually real money will be used instead. Parking Auction will also take a small commission on each transaction, according to a report on Wired. In the meantime, it’s working on mobile apps for both iPhone and Android. One to partner with or emulate in the congested city near you? Spotted by: Murtaza Patel



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