Guest post by: Mark Pendergrast, Director of Product Management

A key tenant driving the INRIX connected car efforts has always been its emphasis on quality. Whether it is the reliability of its real-time traffic data or the timeliness of its incident reports, our company’s focus has always been on providing the most accurate and relevant information to automobile manufacturers and their drivers. We took this same approach to Off-Street Parking when we launched the service in 2013, and we’ve kept at it ever since.

But how can we empirically demonstrate this commitment to quality and accuracy to our customers? As the product owner for Parking at INRIX, it’s my responsibility to ensure we not only have mechanisms in place to gauge and track data quality of our content services, but also to broadly disseminate the findings to partners, customers and the industry.

At its core, the quality of an off-street parking service can be distilled into this key metric: how accurate is the data compared to reality? It’s essentially a measurement against ‘ground truth’ – or what a driver would experience in real life. After all, what value would a driver find in a connected car parking service if it inaccurately reported opening hours or misstated pricing rates or even worse, guided him or her to the wrong entrance location? Such scenarios would likely be unacceptable for any automotive manufacturer whose customer is using this kind of data for navigation purposes. It would undermine the drivers’ value of the services in their connected car and maybe even impact their perception of the car’s brand.

Fortunately, leading automotive market research firms are also interested validating data quality in this field. SBD recently conducted a survey that gauged parking lot information accuracy of two data feeds – the INRIX/ParkMe service as well as a feed from an alternative supplier, Parkopedia. The research looked at the accuracy of key attributes found in nearly 500 parking lots in five cities in Europe and U.S. (Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart in Germany, as well as Boston and San Francisco in the United States). These attributes include everything from lot names to payment data, to even more significant information such as entrance locations, parking rates and operating hours.

We’re pleased to share the results from this SBD research report, which reinforced the commitment to quality and reliability that has been our mantra from Day 1. The findings were definitive as well: measured against reality, the ParkMe/INRIX parking data feed was on average 90% accurate across all data attributes, whereas the Parkopedia feed was only 82% accurate. This was even more pronounced when looking specifically at the key navigation-oriented parking data attributes. For example, ParkMe’s entrance information which was 97% accurate compared to 74% for Parkopedia. A snapshot of the results can be found in the graphic below.

To learn more about the importance of parking service accuracy, please join me and SBD for a short webinar on February 2nd at 7 a.m. PT.