Audi hits up Inrix to add parking spot finder to Audi Connect dash systems

While there are smartphones apps that take some of the hassle out of finding parking, Audi's bringing similar time- and frustration-saving features to a different screen in your ride, through its Audi Connect infotainment systems. Announced at the Telematics Detroit conference, Audi is tapping Inrix's parking spot data so you can find car-friendly floor space from within its dashboard navigation platform. After telling the car where you want to go, you'll have the option to see parking info at the journey's end, including the nearest locations, operating hours, prices and real-time space availability, depending on what data is available from each garage. The sat-nav will also direct you straight to the entrance of the lot, and should you want to know what that entrance looks like, Google Street View will show you. Audi's new parking feature should start hitting Connect-equipped cars from today via an OTA update, so the "finding a space was a nightmare" excuse won't fly next time you're late. But don't worry, we won't tell anyone.

Update: Turns out that Inrix gets its data from ParkMe, the makers of the app we link to in the first sentence, which explains why Audi's new feature is so similar.

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Audi adds innovative INRIX Park Service to Audi connect® services globally

· Audi is first automaker to offer INRIX Park worldwide

· Service immediately available to all Audi connect® subscribers at no added cost

· INRIX provides drivers with continuously updated pricing, hours and availability information for off-street participating parking locations in North America and Europe

HERNDON, Va., June 5, 2013 – Audi is simplifying the unpleasant task of finding off-street parking with the addition of INRIX Park – a real-time navigation service for all existing and new Audi connect® subscribers.

Demonstrated today for the first time at the annual Telematics Detroit 2013 conference, Audi is the first automaker to offer the breakthrough service developed by INRIX to customers around the world. It will be available immediately with all active Audi connect accounts. In the U.S. market, the service instantly brings new benefits to more than 100,000 Audi models already on the road today plus thousands more new vehicles sold every month.

"Helping to ease the challenges that Audi drivers face in their daily drives is the core mission of the Audi connect suite of connected car services," said Filip Brabec, Director of Product Management, Audi of America. "By offering the ability to easily navigate to the best parking spot available for their vehicle, Audi has further simplified and improved the ownership experience."

With the INRIX Park, Audi connect customers gain the ability to easily compare rates, gauge proximity to their destination and get turn-by-turn directions the entrances for more than 18,000 participating parking locations in the U.S. and 42,000 more across Europe. The roster of available parking destinations will continue to grow as data on the locations and available spaces builds.

Audi and INRIX demonstrated the technology today at the Telematics Detroit 2013 conference.

"Together with Audi we're making it easier to get new integrated navigation services in your vehicle than it is to update your smartphone," said Bryan Mistele, President and CEO of INRIX. "With drivers looking for parking accounting for up to a third of all traffic in our cities, INRIX Park demonstrates how new data driven services can help drivers save time and frustration on the road".

Key feature benefits include:

• Find available parking closest to a destination; save favorite locations

• Compare by distance or current price; prices include the rates charged for length of time parked

• Navigate with precision via the most direct route to the closest entrance from the vehicle's location.

Audi offers vehicle owners this newly launched service through Audi MMI® Navigation equipped vehicles with Audi connect* in the U.S. Delivered via the INRIX platform, the parking service is available as part of an options package that includes Bluetooth® mobile phone connectivity, INRIX's dynamic fuel price service as well as real-time news, local traffic, travel and weather information.

INRIX Park allows search beyond a static point of interest to navigate to the closest available parking location and best entrance based on the drivers' approach route and traffic, pricing including hourly scaling and the number of available spaces.

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Audi hits up Inrix to add parking spot finder to Audi Connect dash systems