"Possibly the most innovative idea for helping drivers park their cars comes from SpotScout, a Massachusetts company that is creating an online marketplace where people can trade information about available parking places and even rent out their own driveways.
"You can't purchase or sell public space," says SpotScout founder and CEO Andrew Rollert, but you can use cell phones and handheld devices to trade information about when and where a spot will be available.
A driver about to give up a parking place on the street can use SpotScout to make that information available to other motorists who are hunting for a spot in the area. With that knowledge, says Rollert, "you'll pull over and put your blinker on, and someone will walk up, get in the car, and drive away. It's almost like you had ESP for when somebody was actually going to leave the spot."
SpotScout, which is free to join and has no monthly fees, only charges drivers when they actually pull into a spot. The company takes a small percentage of each transaction, using a PayPal-like system to deposit the rest into the accounts of people who are leaving a spot or renting out their own.
The parking place doesn't have to be on the street. City dwellers who are not using their driveways -- for example, when they're at work or out of town -- can use SpotScout to make the space available to others by the hour or day."