December 13, 2011
Between crowded meter spots and overpriced garages, trying to find parking in a busy city district can be a major headache. Luckily, now we have Parking in Motion (PIM) – the new parking app that lets you find and compare parking wherever you may be.
PIM brings real-time parking information and services to consumers through relationships with auto and navigation companies. The app’s ParkMe engine creates customized parking recommendations for you, based on your cost and convenience preferences. Once that’s set, the app’s rate calculator provides on-the-fly rate, hour and restriction comparisons of your on and off-street options.
Although currently in public beta, the PIM suite of products and services will be free of charge to parking partners. PIM offers a way for operators to reach their customers by providing on-demand real time parking information through its parking map widget, operator dashboard, and mobile apps. PIM can also work with vendors’ existing infrastructure to bring parking information directly to drivers’ smartphones and GPS devices.
Founded by Sam Friedman and Alex Israel in 2009, the Santa Monica-based startup was created with the sole purpose of helping drivers park. Believe it or not, an estimated 30% of traffic congestion comes from people trying to find parking – so the team set out to make a change. When asked why they are entering an already kind-of crowded market, Sam replied,
Although the parking industry does have some competition, the vertical we are in, namely real time parking doesn’t really have many competitors and I may go as far to say that there are no real competitors yet, however we do believe that a few companies may “pivot” into this space shortly, as well as larger companies entering it in the near future.
What makes PIM so different from other parking databases? The technical jargon is that a number of existing parking apps install sensors in the ground to determine occupancy. PIM, on the other hand, uses already existing hardware and aggregates data from many different sources – not just sensors.
“PIM’s database is much more comprehensive and detailed. We are a primary source of data and do not scrape or aggregate from anyone else. We also have stronger relationships with OEMs and mobile developers,” says Friedman.
Funded by top executives at Ford Motors, PIM is poised to make a big mark in the parking game. The database already spans the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, and Australia – with over 200 US cities with data. Sam added,
At this point we are well known in the parking industry. That has been a result of attending industry events, working with many different players, and believe it or not, going to parking conventions – by the way, that is definitely not an activity I thought I would be doing when I was planning my future – but they are necessary and sometimes fun. On the auto and mobile side of things, we are working with channel partners as well as going direct to the auto and mobile companies. And, oftentimes they find us.
The free iPhone app can be downloaded here. An Android app is currently in the works and will be ready in about 6 months.
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