Real-time Ann Arbor Parking Availability By Phone

Patrick and Fred in Ann Arbor Michigan came up with a neat little voice application for checking parking space availability by phone.

“The parking garages in Ann Arbor provide nice signs in front displaying
in brightly lit numbers, the amount of available spaces remaining. Ann
Arbor also posts this information on the web at the A2DDA
website. An idea came to mind that basically, you can tell the
available spots either from the website or right when you reach the
garage — but what if you wanted to know while driving to the garage?”

They built a version using Asterisk, Cepstral, and Perl so we had to try using Twilio.  30 minutes later we had working Twilio version! Try it out here: 734-399-4328

Want to try building something similar yourself?  Here is the source code:
http://monkey.org/~phy/a2parking/a2parking.py
http://monkey.org/~phy/a2parking/locations.xml
http://monkey.org/~phy/a2parking/spots.xml
http://monkey.org/~phy/a2parking/error.xml

And it’s all hosted on Google App Engine for free!

  • http://monkey.org/~bill/pi Bill Merrill

    Fun use of data.
    For this to be usable, imagine the person driving in from the freeway, it could:
    -tell you what lots are full (or nearly full)
    “all lots are full”; or “Only the 4th and washington, and library lot are open”
    -tell you where to park based on ann arbor region (for main st press one, … state st, … south university)
    user presses 1
    “all lots are open near main st”; or “The 4th and washington and ann st lots are open near main st”
    fun!

  • http://monkey.org/~bill/pi Bill Merrill

    Fun use of data.
    For this to be usable, imagine the person driving in from the freeway, it could:
    -tell you what lots are full (or nearly full)
    “all lots are full”; or “Only the 4th and washington, and library lot are open”
    -tell you where to park based on ann arbor region (for main st press one, … state st, … south university)
    user presses 1
    “all lots are open near main st”; or “The 4th and washington and ann st lots are open near main st”
    fun!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1228624819s30483 Evan Cooke

    The “all lots are full”; or “Only the 4th and washington, and library lot are open” suggestion is great. People really don’t need to know how many spaces are available just which lots available and which aren’t.
    The system could also keep track of your menu selection based on your Caller ID and automatically give you information for the last few lots you selected based on your previous calls.
    -evan

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1228624819s30483 Evan Cooke

    The “all lots are full”; or “Only the 4th and washington, and library lot are open” suggestion is great. People really don’t need to know how many spaces are available just which lots available and which aren’t.
    The system could also keep track of your menu selection based on your Caller ID and automatically give you information for the last few lots you selected based on your previous calls.
    -evan

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1228624819s30483 Evan Cooke

    Edward Vielmetti let us know that the URL and format of the parking data was changed. We’ve updated the code to reflect the changes. Thanks Ed.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/1228624819s30483 Evan Cooke

    Edward Vielmetti let us know that the URL and format of the parking data was changed. We’ve updated the code to reflect the changes. Thanks Ed.