When you head away on your travels, we always recommend hiring a car to find the best locations and get away from the tourists. But, hiring a car and driving around a new city can be time-consuming and stressful when you look for a location to park your car.
We’re not sure about everyone else, but we have a tendency to over-rely on the fantastic Google Maps and/or Waze when travelling as both apps will direct you to your destination, usually offering the quickest method available, whilst you focus on your driving.
The latest Google Maps will now find parking spots along the way to your ultimate destination. It’s as simple as selecting “Find Parking” and, whilst you drive, Google will offer you various parking options and you can pick or choose, depending on how close you are to your final point. Google Maps will offer you walking distance directions from the parking lot, too, so you can decide whether you park based on price versus distance.
That’s the upside. The downside is that the update is limited to Android users (the iOS version will be along in the near future) and a small number of US cities, which are Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, DC, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa.
iOS users did receive “Parking Difficulty” support in a recent update. Google Maps will offer some feedback on whether a parking lot is likely to be busy at the time of day when you’re travelling through a city. Google uses what it calls ‘machine learning’ over a period of time, collecting data from users to determine the status of a car park. Frankly, there’s no electronic method of establishing whether a car park has empty spaces which can be accessed by Google.
Parking Difficulty is available in a number of cities outside the US, including Alicante, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Cologne, Darmstadt, Dusseldorf, London, Madrid, Malaga, Manchester, Milan, Montreal, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Toronto, Valencia, Vancouver.
No help for Australians there, but if you’re travelling abroad this could be pretty handy.
Download Google Maps for Android and iOS right now.
This article originally appeared at softwarecrew.co.uk