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New research shows that Australians are spending a lot of time and money in search of a parking space, and HERE Technologies believes that connected cars will help curb the problem.

A survey of more than 1000 people found that Australians spend, on average, 14 hours per year looking for that elusive perfect parking space. The numbers show that 18- to 24-year-old drivers take more time than any other age group – one in four people in this age group spend 30 minutes and over, per week, trying to find a spot.

Some 30 per cent of participants believe it has become increasingly difficult to find parking spaces in the past year, leading 24 per cent to choose alternative forms of transport, and 25 per cent to avoid driving at all. However, 4 per cent think parking access has improved.

While younger drivers are the pickiest with their parking spots, they’re also the most likely to consider solutions like alternative transport, ride-sharing, or future technology.

More than half of all under-25s surveyed (56 per cent) want an app that directs them to available parking spaces, while almost one in three (31 per cent) want to use internet connected car features to help find free parks.

“Connected car technology can provide information to drivers about parking availability and on-street parking restrictions in real-time and can even estimate how long you’ll need to factor in to find a spot, based on historical data,” said Mark Whitmore, director of HERE Asia Pacific.

“Building greater awareness of on-street parking options not only helps alleviate the stress of locating parking for drivers, it also impacts pedestrians and cities on a wider scale – with limited parking causing more than 30 percent of overall inner city traffic.”

“Just like online banking has eliminated the need to wait in bank queues, the inconvenience of searching for car parks will soon be a relic of the past as fully self-driving cars capable of parking themselves become widely available across Australia in as little as five years,” he added.

Other findings include that the average Australian clocks up an additional 560 kilometres a year at around 40km/h looking for parking spots, burning 59 litres of fuel at an average cost of $70 per person – equating to $1.3 billion.

Here, previously a Nokia subsidiary, was purchased by Audi, BMW and Daimler in 2015 as part of a $4.2 billion deal.

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