For the direction-challenged and time-strapped, Google Maps has been life changing.
It not only tells us how to get there, but also times the journey down to the minute, theoretically, making it easier to plan our day.
But it’s one thing to actually reach your destination in time, and often quite another nightmare to find parking.
In cities like Toronto, you could easily circle around for twenty minutes without finding a spot.
But an upcoming update to Google Maps will make the parking search a lot less maddening, as it guides you to the best places to park around your destination. The new feature, found in the Google Maps v9.44 beta, will let you know how busy parking is likely to be on arrival.
Simple and straightforward, it features a graded system of “easy,” “medium” and “limited” for parking availability at certain destinations. This is displayed next to the estimated arrival time on the main screen and – making your life easier – as the final instruction in the directions list.
While the feature stops short of offering drivers real-time parking information, it does provide advice based on how difficult it normally is to find a space in a given area.
The new feature comes after the addition of another feature that provides live information about how busy public places – for example, restaurants – are.
As the feature rolls out, parking information will initially be available for public destinations such as shopping centres and airports.
Hopefully, it won’t take long for the app to direct you to actual available wide open spots.