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Google's 'Open Spot' App Shares Open Parking Spots, Awards Much-Needed Karma

Google Open Spot
When it comes to finding prime parking spots in the middle of dense, concrete jungles, even the most mild-mannered of drivers can revert to their more primitive, animalistic roots. As summer road warriors jockey with each other for curbside position, tempers flare, heart rates rise, and torrents of expletives gush out of driver-side windows. That inherently cutthroat atmosphere, however, may be softening up a bit, thanks to Google.

The company has just released a new app called 'Open Spot,' which takes a page from Brooklyn's 'Roadify' and allows smartphone users to instantly notify other drivers when they're vacating their parking spaces. Once an open spot is marked, other users can pinpoint it on Google Maps, and can hunt for any other tagged vacancies within the area, as well. As Google explains, 'Open Spot' is geared toward helping drivers "save time, save gas, and reduce pollution." The competitive altruist can even accrue so-called 'karma points' every time he or she shares a spot, effectively giving self-righteous do-gooders an easy way to quantify their goodwill.

If you want to try Open Spot, it requires Android 2.0 or higher, and is currently available only in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands. It's an interesting idea, and if drivers resist the temptation to divert their competitors by falsely marking empty spots, it could actually work. But if you want to avoid the headache altogether, you can still slum it on the subway, with us. [From: Google]

Tags: android, Android2.0, app, apps, car, cars, cartech, google, GoogleAndroid, GoogleLabs, GoogleMaps, OpenSpot, parking, street, top

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