DETROIT -- A new app available in Audi vehicles makes it easier to find parking spaces.
ParkMe Inc., a Santa Monica, Calif., company that collects parking data from operators of lots in 1,800 cities in 19 countries, said at a telematics conference here that it is providing Audi with real-time parking data available through vehicle infotainment systems.
Audi vehicles with the Audi Connect infotainment system automatically download the parking app and place the app in its menu, an Audi spokesman said. All new Audi models except the A3, TT and R8 have the app.
Audi is the only automaker to offer the parking app, the spokesman said.
Here's how it works: The driver can call up a menu in major cities that shows public, private and municipal parking lots. Occupancy and rate information is displayed on the screen. Once the driver selects a parking lot, he or she can instruct the navigation system to display turn-by-turn instructions to get there.
Data available to the driver also include electric vehicle charging station availability, hours of operation, payment types and rates. The ParkMe app also contains information on parking availability at airports.
The app can be downloaded free and used on phones, said Alexander Israel, ParkMe co-founder. He said several other functions are being developed, including the ability for the driver to send an e-mail to the parking lot operator to reserve a space and a display that shows real-time street parking availability.
ParkMe derives its revenue by selling its parking data to other companies and by acting as a lead generator for companies that operate parking lots.