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ParkMe and INRIX join like Voltron to show the future of parking apps

For those who are fortunate enough never to have needed it, or those who are just out of the loop when it comes to parking apps, ParkMe is an online service designed to help you find parking, complete with real-time information about prices and availability. It may not be the sexiest app around, but for those hat have spent precious moments of their lives circling a crowded downtown in search of a place to park, ParkMe is a godsend. There are both web and mobile versions, and it’s the biggest service of its kind in the world, with information on 26,000 locations in 29 countries. Today at CES, ParkMe CEO Sam Friedman, announced that ParkMe would be forming a partnership with INRIX, a provider of traffic information for navigation and smartphone devices. Chocolate, meet peanut butter.

The partnership will allow ParkMe’s parking data to be integrated into vehicle navigation systems, as well as mobile apps. For the time being, this will be limited to ParkMe’s North American locations, which hits more than 18,000 locations. The advantage of this kind of integration is obvious, and like so many other great ideas before it, it’s almost hard to believe that it hasn’t happened before. ParkMe can even be set to show that you prefer a parking space that’s closer to your destination, or one that’s cheaper, as well as a variety of settings in between the two. You can also tell the app what sort of vehicle you’re driving, as some spaces are better suited to certain vehicle types than others. You won’t find this everywhere immediately, but it is coming soon.

It’s also interesting to note that Ford has a partnership with INRIX, and although nothing has been officially announced yet, it’s probably a safe bet to expect that Ford vehicles will be the first to offer this as an OEM feature. But even if you don’t have a Ford, there are a variety of aftermarket and smartphone options for those interested in finding cheap parking quickly.