BMW's parking system tells you where to find available on-street spaces

The Dynamic Parking Prediction system is based on an algorithm that uses digital map and fleet data to calculate local parking options

Trying to find a place to park your car in busy areas can be stressful and time-consuming. BMW's new Dynamic Parking Prediction system is aimed at making things a bit easier. The research project uses digital mapping and fleet data to predict where there will be free spaces nearby.

BMW has reportedly been researching ways to minimize the time spent finding a place to find an on-street parking space since 2011. Developed in partnership with transportation intelligence and connected car services provider INRIX, Dynamic Parking Prediction is aimed at doing exactly that.

Using digital maps that show which streets have on-street parking, coupled with anonymous movement data from a test fleet of several thousand vehicles as they are leaving and searching for spaces, the system uses its prediction algorithm to predict the availability of spaces in the local area.

The number of parking spaces that the system calculates to be available and the number of drivers looking for spaces are both factored into the calculation. The information is shown on a dashboard display to aid the driver in finding a space. As well as reducing the time drivers spend looking for a space, this can help to reduce parking-related traffic.

BMW says that the system is able to achieve reliable results even when it is restricted to using data just from the fleet vehicles. Naturally, the system's accuracy increases in line with the number of vehicles that are supplying data.

INRIX and BMW are aiming to refine the prototype for use in future production vehicles. The prototype itself will be displayed in a BMW i3 at the TU-Automotive Detroit exhibition from June 3-4, 2015.

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