Parkmobile Parking App Coming Soon to BMW Dashboards

Parkmobile is integrating its parking app with BMW infotainment systems.

BMW M550i xDrive
BERNHARD_LIMBERGER—BMW AG/Bernhard Limberger

Finding a parking space can be challenging, and so can paying for it. Parkmobile has tried to streamline the process by integrating reservations and payment processes for on- and off-street parking into a smartphone app. Now it's taking the leap to car dashboards.

At the 2017 International Parking Institute Annual Conference (yes, that's really a thing), Parkmobile announced that its app will be integrated with infotainment systems in new BMW vehicles. Parkmobile says its app is the first of its kind to be adopted by an OEM. It will allow drivers to reserve and pay for parking without pulling out their phones, or wallets.

Like other in-car apps, Parkmobile basically translates its interface and features to a BMW's central display screen. The app will populate a car's GPS map with nearby Parkmobile-enabled locations. Parkmobile claims there are more than 2,000 of those in 250 U.S. and Canadian cities. Drivers can then select the amount of time they need, and make payments through the car's infotainment system. Once parked, drivers can extend that time using the Parkmobile app, or BMW's own ParkNow app

In certain areas, parking sessions will also automatically terminate when the driver returns to his or her car and pulls out of the space. Parkmobile says that feature is dependent on local regulations, however.

If automakers are going to continue their fixation on turning cars into four-wheeled smartphones, they might as well add apps that actually have to do with driving. Parkmobile certainly fits into that category, so it will be interesting to see if the company works out deals with other automakers to get its app into their cars.