Google Maps Now Indicates 'Parking Difficulty' At Your Destination

Ever experienced driving to a venue in a hurry to get to an event, only to find out that there is no space to park your car? Now there is a way to find out if you will have difficulty finding a parking spot, thanks to a feature that Google is adding to its Google Maps app.

Google Maps for Android is coming out with a new icon that will serve as a life-saver for drivers who live in densely populated areas. This icon is useful for those who want to know ahead of time if they can get a parking spot right away.

An earlier report from Android Police stated that there were indeed plans by Google to add information on parking difficulties to Google Maps. The said feature just went live and confirmed by the company through a blog post.     

How To View Parking Status Of A Destination

To access the parking feature, you need to get directions to your destination using Google Maps. The feature will show up in the directions card at the bottom of your phone' screen. It will show the status of parking availability within a venue using a small rounded 'P' sign next to the time duration.

The feature will display three levels: Limited, Medium, and Easy. The parking icon will normally be in blue, but turns red if there is limited availability.

Parking Icon Feature Based On Historical Parking Data

Incidentally, Google already has another app that offers a similar feature in Waze, which also provides an estimate on how difficult a parking situation can get. Waze is basing its estimates from INRIX, a company that aggregates parking data, while Google Maps will be basing its parking estimates on anonymized data from users who have opted in to Google Location History.

This means Google Maps won't be taking into account the real-time statuses of parking spaces since the feature will be "based on historical parking data."

Other Updates To Google Maps

Initially, the new feature will be available in 25 metro areas across the US. It is also limited to Android users for the moment, but it should roll out to different cities and to iOS devices in the near future.

Aside from the parking status, other recent additions to Google Maps are the addition of the Popular Times widget that shows how crowded a place is (iOS), and the ability to add amenity photos to establishments (Android).     

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