At INRIX, we are always developing new technologies that go above and beyond anything else that exists in the market. Our commitment to innovation and quality led BMW to challenge INRIX to develop the next evolution of connected car services – optimize the parking experience for drivers from start to finish.
The Challenge: Create an Innovative, High Quality Parking Service
As one of the world’s best-selling manufacturers of luxury cars, originality has always been important to the success of the BMW Group. BMW is widely considered one of the automotive industry’s leading innovators, and their team consistently pushes the envelope when designing the next-generation car.
Historically, parking locations are included in navigation systems as just another layer of static data on the map. BMW understood that parking is a major pain point and tapped INRIX to develop a more useful parking service for its new tech-savvy 5-series.
INRIX was tasked with developing and implementing an industry-first parking service that would improve the parking experience for drivers from start to finish.
Our Solution: Putting the pieces together to create a better parking experience
In 2016 INRIX delivered the automotive industry’s first on-street parking availability service. This award winning solution shows drivers where they have the highest likelihood of finding open parking spots, reducing the time and stress of the last leg of their journey.
Rather than creating a basic parking solution with pins on a map, INRIX developed numerous industry-first technologies to help BMW’s On Street Parking Information (OSPI) service stand out from the pack.
On-Street Parking Availability Information
Using historical and up-to-the-minute parking data, the OSPI service predicts the availability of parking spaces on a given block for drivers.
The core feature of this service helps drivers visualize streets where they have the highest probability of finding an open parking spot. BMW chose to display our predictive parking availability data as two different shades of blue lines to reflect their brand: dark blue indicates the highest probability and light blue indicates a medium probability of finding street parking.
The beauty of BMW’s OSPI is that drivers aren’t overwhelmed with excessive amounts of data on the map, but rather only see streets where they will have the best chance of finding a parking spot.
How This Feature Works:
BMW’s OSPI service is powered by INRIX On-Street Parking, which combines big data from millions of sources with our on-street parking database and predictive algorithms.
Using machine learning, the service calculates how many vehicles drive or stop on a particular street and how many are parked for a length of time. All of this data is fed into a predictive algorithm to come up with the probability of finding a spot on a particular street for any time of day.
BMW OpenSpot & Ultrasonic Sensor Technology:
BMW’s OSPI service also has a unique feature called OpenSpot that displays circular icons to alert drivers to nearby BMWs that have vacated a spot. A timer counts down to give drivers an idea of how recently the spot has become available. Additionally, BMW’s ultrasonic sensors, commonly known as “parking sensors”, transmit sound waves and collect data on parked cars and empty spaces to help the INRIX Prediction Engine improve block-level occupancy predictions.
How This Feature Works:
This feature is powered by a few different technologies including our Ultrasonic Sensor (USS) API. This industry-first technology takes raw, unsanitized USS data and uses machine learning and high definition maps to convert it into valid open spots. Additionally, we receive “parking event” data from BMWs, which tells us when a vehicle shifts in/out of the “park” position.
Most drivers wait until they arrive at their final destination to begin searching for parking, which causes unnecessary traffic and leads to an uneven distribution of available parking spaces. Searching for parking wastes time and has a negative impact on urban mobility, creating up to 30% of congestion in cities.
INRIX created this industry first feature for BMW to help drivers save time, money, and frustration by presenting them with the option of being guided along the best path to find parking rather than the most direct route. This ensures drivers more easily find a spot on the way to their destination.
How This Feature Works:
Park-Search-Route (PSR) uses INRIX Parking Path™ technology to calculate a route that favors blocks with high parking availability probabilities and low traffic.
By combining INRIX industry-leading traffic, incident and parking availability data with machine learning and predictive analytics, routes are optimized to minimize drive-time and walk-time while also helping drivers find the best parking based on price, proximity, and availability.
When a driver is approaching their destination INRIX pulls real-time data to calculate the best path to take and also get a more accurate estimated time of arrival (ETA).
A Scalable Solution With Expanding Coverage:
As of 2018, the BMW OSPI service is available in 68 cities across the US, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Russia, and Norway. INRIX is continually working to improve the coverage and quality of this service to give BMW drivers the ultimate parking experience.