Driving downtown and want to know if you’ll be able to snag a parking spot? A new feature from Google Maps shows you parking availability in advance right from your phone.
Google announced the feature Thursday, which is available in Chicago and 24 other cities and lets you know what parking conditions to expect at your destination.
Google’s “parking difficulty icon” is on Google Maps for Android and lists parking conditions as limited, medium or easy. It’s not real-time data, but rather a look at daily and hourly parking demand based on historical data–similar to the way Google calculates estimated restaurant business.
While the feature isn’t an up-to-the-minute representation of actual parking conditions, it could still be a useful asset for Chicago drivers. Chicago is regularly ranked as one of the worst cities is the US for parking, and Chicago’s parking woes have helped launch several startups looking to make finding a spot easier–such as ParkWhiz, SpotHero and ParqEx.
The service is available in San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington, DC, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Phoenix, Portland and Sacramento.
Image via Google Maps