New research has revealed the amount of time drivers waste searching for a car parking space each year. According to the research, drivers spend as many as 67 hours every year searching for parking spaces at a cost of more than €1,250. Causing around is also responsible for around 30 per cent of urban traffic, added the data. The problem might not be all down to a lack of parking spaces with data showing that in the UK some local authority car park occupancy rates can be as low as 50 per cent.
Ford is developing some new future in-car tech to help improve driver’s experience on the road.
It has teamed up with Vodafone to research new connected-vehicle technology which could make it easier to find parking spaces in city centres.
Parking Space Guidance technology displays to drivers the number of spaces offered by nearby car parks and how to get to them.
“Satnavs are great at helping us to get to our destination but aren’t so useful when it comes to helping us to park there – especially in city centres,” said Tobias Wallerius, engineer, Product Development, Ford of Europe.
“Parking Space Guidance is a connected‑vehicle technology that could help drivers to more quickly complete their journey, saving them money, time and benefitting overall air quality.”
“When vehicles can exchange data with infrastructure in real-time, traffic will become more intelligent, searching for a parking space will become less stressful and people will get to their destination more quickly,” said Michael Reinartz, Head of Innovation, Vodafone.
The technology is updated in real-time based on car park data and is being tested as part of the KoMoD (Kooperative Mobilität im digitalen Testfeld Düsseldorf) programme, in Germany, a €15 million cross-industry project testing new connected‑vehicle and automated driving technologies.
Further features being demonstrated by Ford and Vodafone as part of KoMoD include:
Traffic Light Assistance System, in which the time remaining on upcoming red or green traffic signals is displayed on the instrument panel.
Advance warning of a red light can reduce hard braking, which could lead to safety, fuel economy and traffic flow benefits as drivers adjust their speeds accordingly.
Tunnel Information System which provides advance information about lane closures, speed limits and slow-moving vehicles in tunnels up ahead.
Vario Display delivers up-to-date information to the instrument cluster about major events that may impact local traffic, such as exhibitions, concerts or football matches.
Traffic Control Systems on the motorway help to improve the overall traffic flow by adapting speed limits.
Smart traffic sign transmission sends speed limit and hazard sign information directly to vehicle displays. While traffic sign recognition using cameras is present in many vehicles, it can be challenged in poor weather or surrounded by high-sided vehicles.
Transmitting sign information to the vehicle using a cellular connection directly from the sign or a nearby road-side unit ensures drivers see important safety information.
Bad weather warning automatically communicates weather conditions from one vehicle to others nearby; for example, if a vehicle’s automated windscreen wipers detect rain, it will broadcast this to advise nearby drivers via their in-vehicle displays in case they may wish to adjust their speed or route.
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