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SpotAngels Come to Town

March 13, 2019

Astrid Ambroziak

It is often said and even attributed
to Plato, that necessity is the mother of invention. 


It’s 2016 in San Francisco and Aboud Jardaneh got his car towed, resulting in one very expensive ticket worth more than his car. Abud didn’t quite understand the San Francisco parking rules. Those parking signs are confusing and challenging to read. This incident and the fines led Abud and his friend Hamza Ouazzani Chahdi, who shared his car, to develop an app called SpotAngels. 


SpotAngels calls itself “Waze for Parking.” It is a crowdsourced app like Waze. In other words, it is community-based and it helps users find parking spots on street and in garages, as well as avoid parking tickets. 


It was first lunched in San Francisco and in New York City immediately helping 1 million users park in a month. It defers to apps like SpotHero since it gives the user information about parking, yet, it doesn’t provide a reservation option. 


 


The more users join the SpotAngels app, the more information there is available.


 


The more users join the SpotAngels app, the more information there is available about street cleaning, permit parking, time limits and more. The app sends drivers notifications when it is time to move their car, thus avoiding parking tickets.


Currently the SpotAngels app is available in over 20 cities, including Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. In July 2018, SpotAngels got a round of founding of $2.3 million from investors including Google Maps co-founder Lars Rasmussen, Luc Vincent (former head of Google Street View and VP Engineering at Lyft), Y Combinator, Streamlined Ventures. The founding will enhance the app by bringing it to other cities while adding a feature called “predicted availability.”


 


“Predicted availability” works by extracting historical data from dash camera videos collected from members of community. And community it is all about. The more people get engaged and share their information, the less traffic congestion and fewer parking tickets for all of us. 


Luc Vincent, the former head of Google Street View and vice president of engineering at Lyft, as well as Y Combinator, Streamlined Ventures and Via ID, said: SpotAngels “are focused on a space that is ripe for disruption, with products that stand to improve the lives of millions of people.”


Although we are inundated with apps, drivers may find SpotAngels is one worth downloading to their iPhone or Android phone. It empowers by providing knowledge, and saves time and money. Both Apple and Google featured SpotAngels as one of the best Apps in 2017. In that year alone, it has saved drivers over $7.5 million in parking tickets. 


Knowing the parking rules in the area, as well as options available, gives people a choice to drive or not to drive, use public transportation or ride share network. Just as Waze has changed which route we take to the airport or for meeting friends at a fun restaurant, SpotAngels can change where we park, be it on street or a parking garage. Because knowledge and information are power. 


Therefore, perhaps it isn’t necessity that is a mother of invention, but curiosity. Curiosity to understand better parking rules unique to every city and share our knowledge with others. 


After all, what we give to others in thoughts, words, actions and deeds, we give to ourselves. Less traffic, less congestions, better parking spots for all of us. SpotAngels is engaging us all and leading the way to our destinations. 


Astrid Ambroziak is the editor of Parknews.biz. She can be reached at astrid@parkingtoday.com. 



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