HANDS-FREE: Drivers can book parking from home or en route using an Alexa-enabled device

Drivers in the US can now find, reserve and pay for parking at some 75,000 off-street locations across the country from their vehicle simply by saying “Alexa, find parking nearby” or by instructing the virtual assistant to find parking at a specific destination.

Alexa will then provide information about parking locations and confirm parking duration and total cost prior to booking. Drivers can also ask for verbal confirmation of their reservation, make payments via Amazon Pay and request a digital receipt.

The hands-free service is being rolled out via an Amazon Alexa Skill launched by connected vehicle services provider Parkopedia that also enables users to book parking in advance from home or while en route to their destination using any Alexa-enabled device.

The Skill is available on any Alexa-enabled device including vehicles with integrated Alexa or Alexa-supported auto accessories, on smartphones via the Alexa mobile app, with Echo Buds and from home using a standard Alexa device.

“Using Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, drivers will have access to the Parkopedia database of almost 75,000 off-street parking locations across America, including more than 6,000 reservable locations — allowing drivers to find the nearest parking spot either to a given address, their current location, or at their final destination,” Parkopedia explains.

“When a driver needs help finding the most convenient parking space, they can just say ‘Alexa, find parking nearby’ or use locations, such as ‘Alexa, find parking in Seattle’, and Alexa will default to the Parkopedia Skill, providing users with information such as accurate parking location, pricing and facility opening hours, as well as confirming the required parking duration and total cost prior to booking.

“If a location has multiple parking options, drivers can ask Alexa to skip suggestions until they find a parking spot which best suits their needs.

“Drivers are also able to ask the Parkopedia Skill to verbally confirm reservations, make payments via Amazon Pay, or request for an e-receipt to be sent.”

Parkopedia plans to expand the service to include other services and features such as on-street parking, finding parking at known locations such as work or home, and advising drivers of the distance from the suggested parking space to their final destination “in the near future”. 

In-car contactless parking payments roll out in the US was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.

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