Finding open-air public parking will soon get easier with an upcoming digital service that will let drivers check the availability of spaces before reaching a car parking lot.
The service is one of several initiatives Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan announced yesterday in Parliament, giving an update on Singapore's Smart Nation drive.
"This year, the Government Technology Agency, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Municipal Services Office will be trialling the installation of smart sensors so that we can provide real-time availability of kerbside parking spaces to people who are looking for a space," said Dr Balakrishnan, who is also the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
He was speaking during the debate on the budget of the Prime Minister's Office, of which the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG) is part.
Dr Balakrishnan, who oversees the SNDGG, was replying to questions from several MPs, including Mr Teo Ser Luck (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) and Mr Vikram Nair (Sembawang GRC), on upcoming Smart Nation initiatives.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, SNDGG said the trial of this new parking service will start by end-June and will be held for six months at the on-street parking lots in Telok Ayer and Temple streets.
Motorists can access information on the availability of parking spaces in these streets via the URA website, and the existing Find Parking module in the OneService App, which allows people to report municipal issues like clogged drains.
Depending on the trial's outcome, the information on the availability of on-street parking spaces could be included in the Parking.sg app later. Parking.sg lets motorists pay for public parking electronically and by the second.
Dr Balakrishnan said the Parking.sg app is already used by more than 60 per cent of car owners, and the Government wants to make it easier for them to find parking.
The Moments of Life app, which provides services and information needed by parents and caregivers of children on a single digital platform, will also be enhanced to help citizens plan for end-of-life matters, and empower seniors to lead active lives, added Dr Balakrishnan.
He also said that SingPass Mobile, used to secure citizens' access to e-government services like Central Provident Fund accounts and conduct transactions like filing tax returns, will be expanded to include the private sector.
This means traders can access their accounts with stockbroking or insurance companies using SingPass Mobile, which authenticates users by scanning their faces or fingerprints without needing any password.
Some MPs, such as Mr Ong Teng Koon (Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC) and Ms Tin Pei Ling (MacPherson), had asked if Singapore's Smart Nation plans will continue to focus on citizen-centric services.
Dr Balakrishnan assured them that with the information gleaned from Singapore's digital infrastructure, services will improve.
"In the coming years, with the data generated from our expanding digital infrastructure, we can expect services to become more personalised, more tailor-made to the indivdual needs of citizens, and to be more responsive," he said.