Google Maps now has a new parking feature that will help Android users find a space in places where parking can be tricky. In fact, there are two Google Maps parking features available in the app. One is focused on difficulty, while the other helps users locate parking and even adds it to the directions to their destination.
However, there is a catch, which is that Google has rolled out these parking features to only certain cities for now.
Updates to Google Maps parking icons
The company said in a blog post that it is updating the Google Maps parking feature it added earlier this year and adding a new parking-related feature. The feature it rolled out earlier this year is the addition of parking icons to Google Maps. The icons delineate how difficult it is to park in a particular area. To view the icons, users just need to dial up some directions to the place they are going and then tap the parking difficulty icon, which is toward the bottom of the screen in the directions card. Parking is marked by an icon of a red circle with a “P” inside it, followed by the ranking.
Google has set three difficulties, which are limited, medium and easy, and it ranks every area using machine learning and historical data about parking. The company explained that it calculates parking difficulty in a similar fashion to how it calculates popular times and visit duration for places.
Google Maps parking difficulty expanded to more cities
When the Google Maps parking icons were initially rolled out earlier this year, they were available in only 25 U.S. cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Dallas/ Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa, and Washington, D.C. It’s unclear whether all U.S. cities now have the feature, although Google probably would have announced the expansion if it had done so.
Today the company announced that it has added Parking Difficulty rankings for 25 cities outside the U.S., which are: Amsterdam, Alicante, Dusseldorf, Darmstadt, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Cologne, London, Malaga, Madrid, Manchester, Montreal, Milan, Munich, Moscow, Prague, Paris, Rome, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Stuttgart, Stockholm, Toronto, Vancouver, and Valencia.
The Parking Difficulty feature is being added to both the Android and iOS versions of Google Maps.
Google adds a Find Parking feature
In addition to expanding the Parking Difficulty feature, Google Maps is adding a new feature to help users find parking close to the place they are going. However, unlike the difficulty feature, the Find Parking feature will only be available to Android users. The Find Parking feature is being rolled out to the same 25 cities in the U.S. that Google Maps started with when adding the Parking Difficulty feature.
To access this Google Maps parking feature, users just need to dial up directions for the place they are going and then tap “find parking” on the directions card. This will bring up a list of parking lots and garages that are located near their destination. After choosing a particular lot or garage, Google Maps will then add it to their trip to make it easier to actually find it.