TECH
03/19/2014 11:59 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Heroic App Lets People Book Parking Spots Like They Do Hotels

Rene Johnston via Getty Images

In large cities such as New York, where parking spaces have become a million-dollar commodity, the quest to find affordable parking has proven to be an urban dweller's ultimate nightmare.

A new app is hoping to put an end to the struggle by allowing drivers to book their spots just as they would a hotel.

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Created by Chicago resident Jeremy Smith, SpotHero lets users type in any city address to pull up nearby parking options -- both garages and rented out driveways -- and select which spots suit their parking needs best, whether it be by price or length of stay.

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Wary of committing to a space? You can cancel your reservation at any time up until its start time.

And unlike other similar parking apps out there, SpotHero does not include street-parking, an option that can be hard to guarantee in advance because the space is publicly available to anyone.

"We noticed that nearly 60% of the annual $30 billion parking market comes from off-street parking," Smith told Crain's. "We try to focus there. New York is the best parking market in the country."

According to their site, the company partners with garages and residents who provide inventory data to ensure all spots are guaranteed when booked.

The Atlantic Cities reports Smith hopes to implement a system where all garages and residents renting out spaces can use a QR code to enable quick, reliable transactions. For now, instructions vary per owner; some lots require a printed confirmation.

The app is currently available in New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, Milwaukee, Washington D.C. and Newark, N.J.

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