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Google Maps Gets New Parking Functionality, But Only In Certain Cities

August 29, 2017, 12:19 PM UTC

Google Maps for Android users in 25 U.S. cities can now use the app to find nearby parking facilities, the company said Tuesday.

The feature builds on a “parking difficulty icons” tool that Google rolled out in the cities back in January—when drivers set up their route in the app, they also get an indication of how bad the parking situation is at their destination.

Unlike the latest feature, those icons are also available to those using Google Maps on their Apple iOS devices, such as the iPhone.

“People can tap ‘find parking’ on the directions card to see a list of parking garages and lots near their destination,” Google Maps product manager Jeff Albertson wrote in a Tuesday blog post. “Once they tap their selected option, it’s automatically added to their trip. And they’ll even get walking directions from their parking spot to their final destination.”

The U.S. cities where the parking features—including the new one—are available include: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, DC, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, and Tampa.

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The icons are based on historical data about parking in the chosen spots, as well as machine learning technology that tries to predict supply and demand. Machine learning is also central to Google’s efforts in developing self-driving car technology.

At the same time, Google also announced the expansion of its parking difficulty icons to 25 cities outside the U.S., namely: Alicante, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Cologne, Darmstadt, Dusseldorf, London, Madrid, Malaga, Manchester, Milan, Montreal, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Toronto, Valencia, and Vancouver.