Parking-App: Drivers asked for assistance

Parkplatz-App: Parkplatzsuche mithilfe der Fahrer-Kollegen

Truck parking spaces on the motorways are still crowded. The Federal Government is not able to keep up with the construction of new parking spaces. Parking apps are designed to help find a free space. The manufacturers rely on the help of the drivers.

The situation in parking lots on the rest areas of the motorways has still not improved. The truck drivers are looking for a free place without luck, especially at the peak hours. Time is pressing, because often the rest of the driving time is ticking down incessantly. If there is no other solution left, the driver often reaches chooses the last resort and parks in the on-ramps or exit ramps. Yet, still a lot of off-highway parking spaces are still available.

The problem is known to all parties involved. According to the latest evaluation by the Confederation, around 11,000 parking spaces were missing in 2011 and traffic continues to grow. For this reason, the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs (BMVI) has been working to increase the number of parking spaces and invests half a billion euros by the end of the legislature. This will create 6,000 new parking spaces. At the same time, the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVI) is promoting various projects to manage parking better. In the recently adopted Federal Route Plan 2030, the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVI) points out that parking guidance systems and intelligent parking systems, such as platoon parking, should be introduced. In this respect, the Ministry is already implementing pilot projects with the road construction administrations for telematically controlled truck parking.

Open database
For example, in one project, the data of the parking guidance system should be evaluated and the number of vacant spaces calculated by registering the arrivals and departures. The calculated vacancies are then made available free of charge on the online portal “mobility data market place”. This allows truck drivers to access it via smartphone apps.

Drivers asked for assistance
Several vendors have already designed and launched parking apps. For a so-called real-time analysis, they all rely on the truck drivers’ willingness to help each other. The apps include Truck Parking Europe from PTV, Truck Ya from the Conti subsidiary VDO and also Prepark of NetSeed UG. In all three applications, drivers can report free parking spaces. The more buzz in the “community”, the greater the probability that the parking space is really free. The applications are already very detailed. All parking lots, rest stops and also parking spaces in industrial areas can be displayed. In addition, the programs contain details about the individual parking spaces. On the basis of the remaining drive time, they also calculate relevant spots.

The app “Autohof Guide” by the Association of German travel plazas is more specialized. Here you can view all the registered travel plazas on the route. In addition, the app also uses data from Truck Parking Europe and lists service stations. Whether or not a travel plaza is free, can only be guaranteed, if the truck driver makes a reservation in advance. But that is still far from possible.

Ralf Johanning

Ralf Johanning studied political science and works as a freelance journalist. For over ten years now he reports on the transportation and logistics industry. The priorities include topics such as telematics, software, and ICT. In 2006 the trained editor, Head, and Press Officer founded the editorial office Alte Schule with his partner Ann-Christin Wimber.

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