Parkmobile has announced a new service that should make searching for parking less of a chore. The app’s newest feature, which is available in 100 cities across the United States, will allow users to tell just how crowded a nearby street is, so they don’t have waste any time needlessly searching crowded areas.
Parkmobile said that studies show that the average person spends 17 hours anually searching for parking spots, which ends up costing roughly $354 a year in terms of wasted gas, time, and fuel emission costs. Parkmobile seeks to change that by giving users an easy-to-read map of parking areas in their city so they can tell which streets to avoid when searching for parking spots.
“… Our app will now help direct you to areas where parking is likely available, saving significant time and frustration as you’re on the road,” said Parkmobile CEO Jon Ziglar.
The main downside to this new feature is that it is not available as part of the free app. In order to access this service, users will need to pay $0.99 a month for the Pro version of the Parkmobile app. In addition to the parking finding feature, Pro members get access to discounts, roadside assistance, and occasional special offers on various automotive services. Depending on how much you use the app, the Pro version might be worth coughing up that extra dollar per month.
Earlier this year, Parkmobile was acquired by BMW, which has held a minority share since 2014. The app’s newest feature is available to everyone who buys the Pro version, but BMW owners do get one extra benefit. The German automaker recently integrated the Parkmobile app into its iDrive infotainment system, so BMW drivers won’t even need to use their phones to sort out the parking problem.
Outside of its premium features, the main benefit of Parkmobile is as a parking payment app. It allows users to bypass kiosks and meters by allowing them to pay right from their phone. This makes it a lot easier to pay for parking while you’re out without having to run back to the meter in order to make your payments.