AutoPark Aims To Prevent Parking Tickets for iPhone Owners - HotHardware
AutoPark Aims To Prevent Parking Tickets for iPhone Owners

AutoPark Aims To Prevent Parking Tickets for iPhone Owners

On Monday, Frolicware announced the availability of a new app, that for people who are in cities without much free parking, could be worth the $4.99 price. It's called AutoPark, and it aims to help you not just avoid parking tickets, but also to avoid forgetting where you parked.

Leveraging, quite obviously, the iPhone's GPS capabilities and Push Notifications, AutoPark will not only keep track of the time left on your parking meter, it will let you know when you're approaching its "limits." It will also help you find your car via GPS, if you parked on the street. Parked in a multi-story parking garage, instead? You can enter various information about the location, such as level, slot number, color code, or section into the app.

The app also includes a list of nearby services. Of course, this is frequently duplicated by free apps such as Mango. For now, AutoPark is a little limited in its nearby service list, with just Banks, Gas Stations, and Public Bathrooms. However, they say they will add more services in coming updates.

You can also email your car's location to a friend. Still better, you can include an optional photo with landmarks if you desire. It's $4.99, and considering the price of parking tickets, and the value of your time (assuming you get lost trying to find your car occasionally), it might just be a worthy purchase.
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They get really imaginative with the I-phone apps. I think this is a good one for someone who is in this situation often.

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this would be great for Chicago, NYC and LA

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@kid007 This is a great app, but something this simple should be free, right. It's little more than a notepad and a timer.

About parking, I spent some time in Maryland last year and near the town hall they had advanced network parking setup. Basically as you entered the lot it would tell you how many spaces were left on each level. Simple, but it saved us a lot of time trying to look for parking.

Singapore has similar systems where a GPS will even guide you to an open parking spot and even alert you when a parking spot near you opens up.

The next step would be digitize all major city parking spots and have an passive RFID device like an EZ Pass in each car. As you pull into a metered spot, it will automatically charge you, without you worrying about having enough quarters or running out of time. It will cost the city millions of dollars in parking fines though...

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Yeah they have some like that in downtown Atlanta. I think it was Suntrust headquarters that had the first guided to the space parking. Either way it made it very efficient.

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gibber i understand but don't forget we live in a country that is rule by capitalism. people have to make money for their "invention" look here is my metaphor i'm on a vacation for 2 weeks and last night my wife tells me i want to see a movie i'm like ok what movie you want to see? she picks up The Saint, i was like oh boy here we go with the chick flicks but hey lets watch it just for her to be happy... and when I stared thinking about the whole theme of the movie it made me realized that her intention was to give free energy to the world but there were people like Val that wanted make millions. here where i come in and tell you it would be nice to have free things heck it would be nice if i could give a 4.5% 30 year loan for free but i can't and that why you would see apps that make sense "finally" but you would have to pay for it.

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I've taken a look at some of these, which seldom work well on the iPod Touch (whose GPS is based on known WiFi hotspots-- and therefore is a little less capable than the true GPS of the iPhone). What I'm wondering is why none of them take walking time into consideration.

Here in Philadelphia it's easy. In Center City and surrounding neighborhoods, every single block is 1/8 of a mile long and wide, thanks to William Penn's city plan. So if you walk at US Army marching speed, 4 MPH, it will take you 2 minutes to walk one block. Average adult walking speed of 3 MPH means 2.5 minutes, and if you have kids, plan on 3.5 minutes per block. The point is that it's a known factor.

So, why not a calculator that will (1) keep track of your car's location and time left, and (2) interface with the map service to find your true distance-- as the ape walks and not as the crow flies-- thereby (3) finding out how long it will take you to walk back there and (4) alerting you when you'd better get your butt out of that coffee house sofa to avoid a ticket? THAT would be worth $4.99.

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ClemSnide:

I've taken a look at some of these, which seldom work well on the iPod Touch (whose GPS is based on known WiFi hotspots-- and therefore is a little less capable than the true GPS of the iPhone). What I'm wondering is why none of them take walking time into consideration.

Here in Philadelphia it's easy. In Center City and surrounding neighborhoods, every single block is 1/8 of a mile long and wide, thanks to William Penn's city plan. So if you walk at US Army marching speed, 4 MPH, it will take you 2 minutes to walk one block. Average adult walking speed of 3 MPH means 2.5 minutes, and if you have kids, plan on 3.5 minutes per block. The point is that it's a known factor.

So, why not a calculator that will (1) keep track of your car's location and time left, and (2) interface with the map service to find your true distance-- as the ape walks and not as the crow flies-- thereby (3) finding out how long it will take you to walk back there and (4) alerting you when you'd better get your butt out of that coffee house sofa to avoid a ticket? THAT would be worth $4.99.

Don't you think that you should have just made that app?

I think the concept is neat and imaginative but like Gib mentioned, it's really just a basic timer...you could just use your alarm function (already on your phone, free too!)

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mentaldisorder:

Don't you think that you should have just made that app?

I think the concept is neat and imaginative but like Gib mentioned, it's really just a basic timer...you could just use your alarm function (already on your phone, free too!)

I'm not much in the app-writing field any more. Once you get hauled into a conference room by Naval Intelligence officers because you found a way to work around Unix security, you lose your taste for it. I haven't kept up with the state of the art, though I do crank out a World of Warcraft add-on every once in a while.

 

Mobile devices, though, are about convenience. Goodness, you don't even need a $300 handheld computer to remind you of your events, including parking meters; a 79¢ wire-bound notepad will do the same, and will feature handwriting recognition as well. The "where did I leave my car" problem is one which has been addressed by setting a GPS waypoint (which you can also do without a specialized app), and it's entirely possible for people to look at the map, jot down the lengths of the blocks that would provide a walking route back to the car (online maps are famous for only offering driving directions), and calculating how loing at average walking speed it would take to get back to it, then updating that every time you change location-- but I imagine that there are people who would prefer that calculation to be made by their iPhone. Leaves them more time at the Museum of Modern Art.

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Oh! And while we're on the subject: Why are the map applications so driving-centric? I'd pay dearly for one which interfaced with SEPTA's trip planner and gave public transit/walking directions.

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