Google Maps is rolling out a twofold expansion for its mobile app that will bring parking difficulty indicators to new locations, and help users find parking near their destination in select U.S. cities. The parking difficulty feature gives you a warning at the bottom of a direction card when it may be difficult to find parking at or near your destination, and that feature is headed out to 25 new major cities internationally, all outside of the United States. In the U.S., on the other hand, the new parking assistance feature will list parking garages and lots near destinations for users in 25 different major cities, and give them the ability to add parking to the trip, and even include walking directions from the parking spot to their destination.
The parking difficulty warning rolled out a while back and gave some fair warning to drivers in a number of major U.S. cities. Today's announcement marks the feature's international debut, and it will be coming to major cities like Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, London, and Toronto. The new parking assistance feature, meanwhile, is not quite as simple as the parking difficulty warning; users making a qualifying trip will see a button that will allow them to find and add parking to their trip, and Google Maps will do the rest. This feature is coming to major U.S. cities like Tampa, Chicago, DC, Atlanta, Boston, and even New York City, where finding parking can be a real challenge, depending on the day and time.
The new features within the Maps app should be live, on both Android and iOS, in qualifying cities. Google did not say when it plans to expand the two features out to other markets. Since the features center around finding parking in places with established solutions to parking difficulties, they probably won't be making their way out to smaller cities and towns for the time being. When making a trip out to a big city to walk around and check the place out, or going to an event in a big city where the venue's built-in parking is full or sold out, however, these new features should prove helpful. Things like concerts, sporting events, and fairs are prime examples of trips where these two features could be very useful to users and Google may opt to expand on them in the near future.