We all know the situation where you need to park your car, but don’t know where to go. We accept that car parks have long been viewable on Sat Nav screens in the form of Points of Interest. Nokia have now decided to take this functionality a step further with a comprehensive parking database which will both guide you to parking and help you pay.
The service operates by using your GPS position to provide local car park information, including car park capacity and minimum headroom for those with higher sided vehicles. We accept that there are already some reasonable parking apps out there, but the possible “Game Changer” from this service is real-time parking space availability information. The inference we are seeing is that this would be more aligned to street parking and single level Car Parks rather than multi-story Car Parks as GPS signal may be lost on covered parking levels.
Finally, once parked the service enables you to tap a button to start the parking meter and tap another button when you are ready to drive off to pay for your time. A further extension of this functionality being perceived for this service is that your 3G-connected and GPS enabled device could start the meter and pay as you drive off with no user intervention. This does rely on the service being incorporated into in-car Sat Nav systems as well as mobile devices, of course.
The information we have identifies that this is being developed as a service rather than stand alone app, so you will not be seeing a Nokia Parking app releasing in its own right. Instead is will be offered as licenced to developers for integration into 3rd Party apps. This being said we are still hoping that Nokia will integrate this functionality into a future update to Nokia Drive or Maps following the service’s predicted European go live date of November 2012.