Carnegie Mellon University
October 03, 2011

News Brief: National Transportation Group Recognizes Carnegie Mellon’s Smart Parking App

traffic21Carnegie Mellon University’s Traffic21 initiative ( was recognized by a national transportation group today for creating the nation’s first predictive parking app to direct drivers to available parking spots, helping to reduce congestion and delays in downtown Pittsburgh.

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) gave its Smart Solution Spotlight award to Park PGH, the city’s first comprehensive “smart” parking solution that delivers real-time information about parking availability in the city’s Cultural District garages. The program calculates the number of parking spaces available in the district’s 10 garages every 30 seconds and delivers available locations to drivers through an iPhone app, websites, text messaging and a call-in telephone service.

Unlike parking apps in other cities, however, the Park PGH app uses a predictive parking algorithm designed by Robert Hampshire, assistant professor of operations research and public policy at CMU’s Heinz College. This predictive parking component uses historical parking trends and current events to predict parking availability from minutes to hours in the future. The research was supported by Traffic21 and funded by the Hillman Foundation.

“Park PGH is a perfect example of Henry Hillman’s vision in funding Traffic21 at Carnegie Mellon University, which is taking cutting edge research and working with public and private partners to improve transportation in Pittsburgh through deploying technology,” Hampshire said.