Not only is it able to detect empty parking spots, but it can also share the findings with other cars as well.
SEAT has joined forces with Barcelona-based CARNET to make the Ateca SUV cleverer by giving it tracking sensors capable of detecting nearby empty parking spaces. Known as the “Ateca Smart City Car,” the concept can send the information gathered to other cars through the Parkfinder smartphone app.
The entire project came to life following an agreement between the local authorities in Barcelona and Cellnex Telecom, one of the biggest operators of wireless telecommunications in Europe. The SEAT Ateca Smart City Car works together with Barcelona’s iCity platform to share details about available parking locations, while the server is in charge of distributing the data to the aforementioned Parkfinder app.
Users get to choose from three driver profile configurations (close to home, close to work, personalized) and fiddle with the preferences based on price, distance, and the chances of finding an empty parking spot faster. In addition, there’s a “Find my car” function to help the owner track down his Ateca by showing its location on a smartphone’s screen. For even more functionality, “Last Mile Routing” will display on map the distance on foot to the final destination.
The Ateca Smart City Car will be on display until Thursday at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona purely as a concept, but even so SEAT mentions it “points towards its future potential.” The company’s Chief Digital Officer, Fabian Simmer, says that almost 30 percent of the traffic in the most important cities in Europe involves drivers searching for an available parking spot. SEAT through its Ateca-based concept wants to eliminate the hassle of having to find one, which in return will reduce the time spent looking for one, as well as slash fuel consumption and emissions, while lowering traffic congestion and noise in crowded cities.
As a side note, Google through its Waze app recently introduced a software with similar functionality by adding a “where to park” function. Created with input from transportation data firm INRIX, it allows users of the app find the closest available parking lots and navigate there directly.