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Sidewalk Labs can help you find empty parking spots downtown in real-time

This article was originally published by Sarah Wray on Cities Today, the leading news platform on urban mobility and innovation, reaching an international audience of city leaders. For the latest updates follow Cities Today on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, or sign up for Cities Today News.

Alphabet-owned urban tech company Sidewalk Labs has launched a new sensor to help cities improve parking and curb management.

Pebble provides real-time data about parking space availability, with a dashboard to give municipalities, operators and real estate developers an understanding of historical parking patterns.

Nick Jonas, Senior Creative Technologist at Pebble, said in a blog post: “These insights can help communicate space availability to customers, reduce circling, and create shared parking zones that minimise the number of spaces built in the first place.”

Parking sensors are not new, but Sidewalk Labs says its solution is easier to install and cheaper than existing products on the market.

The wireless Pebble system consists of individual 2.8-inch Pebble sensors that can be placed on a surface using adhesive. The solar-powered Pebble gateway uses the cellular network, so it can be attached to a pole without running new wires or trenching through pavement.

Once in place, the sensors relay the presence, or absence, of a vehicle in real time.

Several Pebble pilots are ongoing but further details are not being disclosed for now.

Credit: Sidewalk Labs