Parking - the problem and the solution

There are various solutions that offer different approaches.

April 8, 2015 13:23
The Polly Parking Fairy app lets drivers look for parking on the street while on their way to a lot

The Polly Parking Fairy app lets drivers look for parking on the street while on their way to a parking lot. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Finding parking in big cities has become a real problem in recent years. In the past, we only heard about this problem in Tel Aviv, but now it is even very difficult to find parking in the city centers of medium and larger cities around the country.

An increase in construction and the multiplying number of cars also lead to problems with parking in many residential areas.

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If the navigation problem was solved with technological means now there are a number of start-ups that took up the challenge to find a solution to the parking problem by using a smartphone application.

There are various solutions that offer different approaches.

The problem

30% of the traffic in the city center is due to people looking for a parking space. Twenty-one minutes on average is the time it takes to find parking in the city. More than 82 percent of people reported dissatisfaction with city parking arrangements. Due to the large number of new high-rise buildings, there are more cars and fewer parking spaces.

The market is desperate to find parking solutions. Parking is more than discomfort. It is a business that has a $25 billion turnover per year in the US alone.

Navigation solutions will get you to your destination in time but they do not take into account the time that is required to find parking.

These three leading solutions coming from Israel might be able to offer a solution, and it is very possible that combining these solutions can lead to finding parking the fastest way.

Polly, the parking fairy

Spark, an Israeli startup, formally launched last week in Tel Aviv the “Polly - Parking Fairy.” This app eliminates the frustration involved in finding a parking space in the city. Polly is the application that tries to reduce the amount of time spent looking for a parking space in half, and increases by tens of percent the chance to find street parking.

As you approach the destination, Polly comes alive. It invites the driver to choose the nearest parking lot and displays the relevant information – prices, walking distance from the target and available spaces. The next step is to offer the driver to choose between navigating directly to the parking lot or if he prefers to first look for street parking that might be closer. This is a distinct advantage that Polly has, which guarantees that the driver will always find a parking space close to the destination – either on the street or in a lot.

If the driver chose to look for parking on the street on the way to the parking lot, Polly will show him a custom navigation path through streets nearby his destination where there is the greatest chance of finding parking. The route is based on statistical information about where there is the largest parking turnover, unique geographic information that is collected through field work that has been done according to street parking spaces and city parking signs, as well as information on restrictions and hourly parking conditions or parking for local residents only.

During the navigation process, Polly will show the driver where it is permitted to park in accordance with these restrictions in order to avoid penalties for illegal parking.

Polly makes most of the magic itself and is not based on input from users on ground. This way it can provide a high-quality and reliable service from the start, “wisdom of crowds” is just another layer that ensures continuous improvement of the chances of finding street parking. Spark was established in July 2012 by Eran Balter and Zohar Bali.


The company uses the “wisdom of crowds” and together with a smartphone, which is placed on a cradle on the windshield of the vehicle, the app uses the phone’s camera and scans the right side of the road to detect permitted parking.

This app turns on the camera and can identify any available legal place for parking. To anyone who is afraid of privacy, there is no use of this data except for finding parking and the app will switch off when the battery is close to 50% in order not to waste valuable user resources.

This solution allows users to get information about parking spaces in real time and how to get to those spaces.

The system enables the identification of hazards along the way, and in thefuture you will be able to provide these data to the local authorities so they can be updated as soon as possible and treat these problems. The company was founded by Ronen Korman, an army veteran from the 8200 unit.


Finding a parking space is indeed a serious problem and solutions using the “wisdom of crowds” and finding a parking space while on the way to the parking lot increases the chances of actually finding a spot, but do not resolve the problem with certainty.

Navigation guiding to a guaranteed parking space that will turn out to be unavailable can be very frustrating.

Spaceek hardware deals with this issue. It offers an integrated solution – a small sensor that will be inserted into the pavement and can communicate with the drivers that are using the app will inform the users about available parking spaces.

This Internet solution, where products that are connected with a sensor to the Internet and from there transfer information to the cloud platform, which then moves the information to the smartphone of each user is a more reliable solution, but it also makes it difficult to implement.

Combining a similar solution that was done in several parking lots, illuminating green lights above a parking space when it is available and red when it is taken, the uniqueness of the system is connecting to an application in which a driver can plan his own way depending on where there is a free spot, save time and fines.

Release of Internet addresses ending in IL

The Internet Association is initiating a process to release thousands of web site addresses with Israeli extensions (.il) that were registered before 1999.

Today, the national register of names has around 230,000 registered domain names, of which about 9,000 were registered by the end of 1998 by the Israel Inter-University Computation Center and the Internet Association under the old registration rules. Unlike current listing rules, the rules up to 1999 did not restrict the domain names registry. Because of this the holders of these names were not required to pay renewal fees – in the absence of the renewal obligation, the rights to them do not expire and are withheld from the public to re-register the domain names.

Therefore, much of the domain names are no longer active and are not used by their owners.

Public participation and identification of the subscribers is actually the first stage in the process, which will arrange the registration by the latest rules and will release the “abandoned: domain names. During the next 45 days a notice will be sent to the subscribers calling them to update their details along with a request to transfer their comments on the subject. Because this is a complex bureaucratic procedure, at the end of 45 days it will be decided exactly what to do to complete the process, which will end by comparing the entry requirements to the rest of the public.

The director of the Israel Internet Association, Dina Beer, explains the process led by the Internet Society: “Our goal is to make the Israel Internet space equal to all users.

Registration before 1999 was done on a “one-time” basis and managed by the Israel Inter-University Computation Center, during this period most of the world did not know what would be the future of the Internet. Over the years we have received many requests from people who wondered why they were not able to receive many names that are not in use, and of course the active domain names registered by the old rules are getting services that others pay for.

This is a complex technically and legally logistical operation, the union takes care of all its costs, and revenues will be directed to the advancement of the Internet infrastructure in Israel. At the end of the procedure attractive domain names that are not in use now will be available to the public.”

5 apps for kids


A talking encyclopedia for children, it contains 120 entries written with sensitivity and from the perspective of kids. It is divided into five categories (animals, nature, countries, foods and sites in the world). All entries are accompanied by images, sounds, text and narration, and linked together to produce a significant experience and complete investigation (example: the Egypt entry links to pyramids, desert and falafel). A user-friendly app that is safe (no advertising or external links) and especially nurtures our children’s natural curiosity.

Free on Apple and Android

Mia’s Playground

Mia is a little bunny that hosts toddlers in her playground. Children aged two to five can enjoy games in which you have to find similarities and differences, games that require identifying shapes and colors, intuition games, imagination, letters (English) and numbers.

The application is very intuitive and children of all ages perceive immediately what needs to be done without the parents having to explain it to them. The app is free to download and includes two basic games. Four more games - include a charge.

Toca Boca

A Swedish studio released a series of games – The Barber Shop, The Grocery Store, The Clothing Store, At the Doctor’s Office, The Kitchen Monster and many more that will provide hours of fun for children and parents.

Toca Boca creators chose familiar framing stories that every child knows: clothes, hair, food, shopping and music. The cute, colorful and cheerful animation, together with pleasant voices and sounds that play during the game, will very soon be heard by “Toca Boca!” at your home.

₪ 12 on Apple and Android.

Ivrit Kids

“There are no lions like these! It cannot be true! Not in the jungle and not in the garden...” This is how the successful book There are no lions like these ones by author and illustrator Ami Rubinger and illustrator ends.

This great memory game application, lets you browse and read the same way you do with a paper book. You can run the narration and illustrated figures independently.

The application developers use the capabilities of the smartphone and tablet in order to drop a lion into water and pull it out by tilting the device, breaking eggs by shaking the device and practice one’s coordination and try to eliminate six lions together. NIS 14 on Apple and Android.

Translated by Maya Pelleg.

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