Over the past two weeks, we have noticed that first Yahoo, and then Apple, have filed patents for technology to track the availability of parking spaces.
The Yahoo patent is based on a design that attaches sensors to individual parking lots, transmitting data that is tracked in real-time on Yahoo Maps.
Interestingly, Apple also filed a patent on Jan 22 for GPS-based parking and location management processes and alerts. If the technology is realised, it will provide information such as location of nearest taxi, parking lot availability and cost, and rules regarding parking on certain sections of a restricted street. It also looks set to take into account user preferences, giving different options based on how far you’re willing to walk, and your tolerance for inclement weather.