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Julian Sandler
2 months ago
Julian Sandler
Smart City Expert

A few years back, it seemed like one of the perennial headaches of urban life — parking — was about to be vanquished by the equivalent of an extra-strength aspirin.

Startups installed sensors in the pavement that would alert your smartphone when a space opened up, or hired armies of valets who would scoot over to pick up your car and whisk it into a garage. One company, FlightCar, even made use of your vehicle when you left it in an airport lot, by renting it out to incoming travelers — and giving you free parking and a car wash in exchange.

Many of the companies, including FlightCar, have since gone out of business, or discontinued their original services while rushing to figure out something else that might work.

Parking, it turns out, is an especially vexing problem to solve — in part because the way we get around cities is so much in flux.