The Best Parking Strategy, According to Science

There are, according to a newly released scientific study, three main kinds of parkers:

  • Meek, who take the first space they see.
  • Optimistic, who cruise and circle until they find the perfect space.
  • Prudent, who doesn’t take the first space but won’t circle for long, either.

Which group wastes the least amount of time and gets where they’re going fastest? The Journal of Statistical Mechanics study says it’s the prudent parker, who spends overall less time in the lot than even the meek parker who jumps at the first space he or she sees. Who’d have guessed?

The researchers behind this study are physicists, looking at pure science as it relates to parking customers. “We study an idealized parking process on a one-dimensional geometry where the desired target is located at x  =  0, cars enter the system from the right at a rate and each car leaves at a unit rate,” they write. We’re impressed. Read the whole story here.