Let’s start with something simple:

People having problems finding their cars in the multi-story parking garages.

The problem and setup:

Most of the parking lots offer semi-automated ticketing system. When you enter, you receive a card recording the time of arrival. Upon exit, you need to either pay the fee or validate your stay and then use the same card at the exit gate in order to open it.

The cards record the time of stay either via a magnetic stripe or a printed bar code – keeping only a minimal amount of surface filled with the “operational data”. This leaves one side of the card unused – its either blank, or used as an advertisement space.

Commonly, a large percentage of parking lot users have trouble finding their car easily, especially after an extended stay. This applies mostly to the multi-story underground parking spaces. While the designers typically color-code the floors and provide the drivers with an alphanumeric sector coding – many still find it confusing and lose time searching for their car.

The solution:

I propose, that a simple map of the parking lot be printed on the reverse of the parking ticket. It should contain the floor plan clearly illustrating the entrances and the exits, as well as a space for marking the floor number.

As the driver parks the car, he or she would be able to mark down the car’s location and then have a handy reference when coming back to pick it up.

The map could also contain additional information, such as emergency exits and serve as a pocket reference in case of an accident.

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