An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Sidewalk Labs, Alphabet’s urban innovation organization, has announced the launch of Pebble, a vehicle sensor that’s designed to help manage parking in cities by providing real-time parking and curb availability data. Here’s how it works: Small spherical sensors are stuck to the ground on parking spaces to note the absence or presence of a vehicle. Then solar-powered gateway hardware, which can be strapped easily to street poles, uses IoT to connect the sensor to the cloud through the cellular network. The data is then viewed and analyzed by real estate developers, parking operators or municipal agencies via a dashboard. Pebble doesn’t use cameras or collect identifying information about a person or vehicle, and is touting a “privacy preserving” approach.
Between 9% and 56% of traffic, and all the pollution that comes with it, is caused by people who are cruising for parking. Pebble says its real-time parking availability can be integrated into navigation apps, like Google Maps, through an API to help users spend less time circling the block. “Real-time parking information can also alert would-be drivers when spaces are limited before they even leave home, leading them to use alternative travel modes, such as park-and-ride transit or ferries,” wrote Sidewalk Labs’ senior creative technologist, Nick Jonas, in a blog post announcing the launch. “For example, a smart parking program at a BART park-and-ride station reduced driving by a monthly average of nearly 10 miles per person — and even shortened commutes.”
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