In both Sydney and Brisbane, Mark Schroder found himself dealing with a problem that’s all too common to drivers in big cities: knowing when to move his car from a restricted parking area. So he and Patrick Acheampong decided to create a solution using basic smartphone technology. The resulting app, Parking Maestro, uses the parking information provided by the user (via a smartphone scan of the parking sign or manual entering of data) to alert them when it’s time to head back to the car in order to avoid a ticket or worse. It tracks the user’s location to calculate the distance they’ll have to travel.
What’s the Big Idea?
Schroder says, “Whether I was at home, at work or going out with friends, I realised my car was nearly always parked in a restricted area…There are few people living in [the city] who have their own garage and don’t have to worry about when their parking is expiring.” He and Acheampong built the free iOS app with the help of ilab, a University of Queensland startup accelerator. Program director Bernie Woodcroft says he’s excited for their future success: “Parking is a huge problem in the world’s cities.”