Sometimes the simplest ideas are also the best ones.
Finding a parking space is often a nightmare for drivers. A great amount of time and fuel is spent looking for a parking space. A problem particularly acute in Seoul, drivers use around a litre of gas every month just trying to park.
To solve this problem, the S-oil company in South Korea came up with a very innovative gas-saving idea. Called the HERE balloon, it’s the giant S-Oil’s way of reducing the time drivers spend looking for a space in a large parking lot and therefore, the gas they waste while doing so.
Here’s how it works. Bright yellow arrow-shaped balloons are tied to every parking space. When a car is parked, it pulls the balloon’s tether down so it’s not visible to those hunting for spaces. While for empty spaces, the balloon is high enough so that it can be seen across a parking lot, making it easy for drivers to spot all the unoccupied spaces.
S-Oil estimates that an average driver in Seoul drives for a full half-kilometer each day looking for a space. Over a month, that’s 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) per car, used for nothing more than parking, and that can mean a whole liter of gas wasted.
With the balloons, S-Oil says that in just one day, in one parking lot, 700 cars used 23 liters (6 gallons) less oil. Multiply that across more parking lots and more days and you can see the cumulative benefit.