New app to help motorists find available parking

The Park&Go @SG app differentiates itself from similar ones by using data analytics to determine how many spaces will be free upon arrival at a particular carpark.
The Park&Go @SG app differentiates itself from similar ones by using data analytics to determine how many spaces will be free upon arrival at a particular carpark.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

Park&Go @SG can also predict how many spaces will be free at various times of the day

Have trouble finding parking?

A new app aims to not only locate carparks with available parking, but also predict how many spaces will be free at different times of the day.

Called Park&Go @SG, the app differentiates itself from similar ones, such as Singapore Parking, by using data analytics to determine how many spaces will be free upon arrival at a particular carpark.

The app, which took one year to develop, uses real-time information updated every two seconds from the Housing Board (HDB) and the Land Transport Authority.

It helps motorists to identify available spaces in 26 major government and commercial buildings, such as the VivoCity and ION Orchard malls, as well as 427 HDB carparks.

Park&Go @SG is currently available for Android devices, with an iOS version expected by the middle of next year.

It also identifies which carparks have washing bays and parking spaces for the disabled, and is expected to offer information on carparks with charging stations for electric vehicles in future.

The app was launched yesterday by Germany-based auto supplier Continental Automotive, and is the first product from the Intelligent Transport Systems Lab.

The lab was launched last year by Continental, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's Institute for Infocomm Research, as well as TUM Create, a collaboration between the Technical University of Munich and the Nanyang Technological University.

Continental senior vice-president Ralf Lenninger said the cooperation that he saw between the various agencies involved made it an easy decision to develop the app first in Singapore.

"I haven't found another place in the world so open to making new things happen like Singapore," he said.

Also launched yesterday was the Continental Backend Platform, which acts as a database for the Park&Go @SG app and is expected to eventually provide data for other automotive uses, including providing support for autonomous vehicles.

Park&Go @SG is currently available for Android devices, with an iOS version expected by the middle of next year. Its services are currently restricted to carparks with electronic gantries.

The app, which is free to download, was downloaded at least 10 times yesterday from the Google Play store, to mixed reviews.

IT specialist Wong Chun Seng, 33, a motorcyclist, said the app had much room for improvement.

"I can search only carpark spaces near me," he said, adding that the app would not load unless the Global Positioning System function on his phone was activated.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2015, with the headline 'New app to help motorists find available parking'. Print Edition | Subscribe