Finding a parking spot often requires drivers to summon their inner caveman: Scan the horizon for the target, then bag it before someone else does.
A startup company is betting it can chip away at that anachronism and transform the search for parking just as eBay Inc. changed auctions.
SpotScout Inc. hopes to create an online marketplace where drivers armed with mobile phones can not only reserve private spaces in garages and driveways, but also swap public parking spots in real time, with vacant spaces going to the highest bidder.
Analysts who track emerging online applications say the fledgling venture could successfully capitalize on the growing popularity of mobile Web-surfing and big-city parking frustrations.
But they also question whether SpotScout can make online parking searches sufficiently quick and easy to win over a critical mass of consumers willing to abandon the old-fashioned way of hunting for a spot.
"In the 21st century, you shouldn't have to look for a parking space anymore," said SpotScout CEO Andrew Rollert, a 32-year-old software engineer. "I hate the term, 'I have to go look for a parking space.'"
They hope to do this by "spotcasting", where drivers give their departure times, they will offer the space to the highest bidder after the owners of the spot post info about when it will be empty. To be honest I am not sure they can pull this off. There are too many variables. It is easier to just find an open spot. But it will be interesting to see how this goes. Wouldn't they have to invest in people to wqatch these spots so that they remain open? It is a great concept, I have to give them that.