SpotScout, find parking spaces on the road.

May 17th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Parking spaces as we very well know are most of the time hard to find. The big cities of the US have been making ways to increase parking capacity through traffic schemes, infrastructure and some high tech machines that check cars like coats.

SpotScout on the web also tries to solve the parking problem by using communities, classifieds and social networks. SpotScout is no machine or car accessory that needs to be bought. It's a web site that might be considered a search engine and classifieds listing directory rolled in one.

Still testing in Boston, San Francisco and New York, the SpotScout system will help drivers and parking space owners help each other out by coordinating and sharing parking spots in garages, private spots and on the street. To access different parking spaces there are different ways.

For garage parking or buildings whose main business is being parking spots, the owners or administrators of that garage can post parking spaces and users can reserve for slot in advance over the internet. This is the most common demonstration of SpotScout as a classifieds directory. For private parking space owners like anybody who has a driveway or an extra space, they too can post their spot on SpotScout and any user can reserve and rent that space when needed. Lastly, to make money off your on-the-street parking spot, you can tell any driver searching on SpotScout that you're leaving the spot at a certain time and he can take it then. The cool thing here is that you sell that information on SpotScout.

Accessing SpotScout is done from a desktop computer, or mobile device that can access the internet like PDA's and cellular phones. For mobile devices there is no new software to install, the SpotScout search engine can be accessed using a regular internet browser.

The idea behind SpotScout is now entirely new but the mobile part of the plan is an innovation in itself. Already available on the internet are sites like ParkAtMyHouse that is also a directory for parking spaces for rent and allows owners to rent out their spaces.

The big question now is, will the system work? I personally have doubts about the street spots, they'll only work if the seller and the buyer can coordinate perfectly. If they can't any other car on the street will take the spot as soon as its vacated.

All in all, SpotScout has a lot of kinks to work out before being a successful spot finder. Nevertheless, it's good that there are services like these that solve everyday problems we simply feel so helpless about sometimes.