Parking in city centers is a headache for drivers around the world. In most central business districts, there is a shortage of parking spaces in the daytime. To address this issue, the authorities in Beijing's Xicheng district are piloting a smartphone app to facilitate and encourage the sharing of parking spaces in the district. Beijing News comments:
The app is being introduced on a pilot basis and at the moment it is limited to Desheng Street. People can offer their vacant parking spaces to others in the daytime using the app, and drivers can use it to find the nearest parking space and make a payment online.
Using technology such as big data, the app will help optimize the use of available parking spaces by providing users with locations of nearby parking lots and the number of vacant spaces in each of them. It will also identify the location of spaces in government parking lots in Desheng Street.
Commercial parking lots have welcomed the initiative. Although some have already made efforts to open their parking lots to the public, many government units and large enterprises are reluctant to open their affiliated parking lots to the public.
More specific rules to make clear the charging standards are needed to ensure the app is accepted by more government units.
If the app proves to be successful, it will then be promoted to help residents throughout the district.