ParKing – A gamified crowdsourcing approach to simplify parking

Finding a parking spot in large cities is often time-consuming and stressful. Studies conducted in different cities around the globe revealed that around 30% of prevailing traffic is cruising for parking (Shoup, 2005, 2006). The traffic generated by people searching for a parking spot has great economic and ecological consequences: Searching for parking is responsible for tons of carbon dioxide emissions every day and heavily influences the time and fuel consumption of other drivers (Arnott et al., 2005; Axhausen et al., 1994; Shoup, 2005, 2006).


ParKing App - gamified crowdsourcing to simplify parking

ParKing App – A gamified crowdsourcing approach to simplify on-street parking


The idea behind the project ParKing was that a “Gamified Parking Assistant System” may help drivers unfamiliar with the parking situation of a city, such as tourists or business travellers, with getting an overview and reducing their cruising for parking. As part of the project, gamification patterns for engaging people in sharing information on parking spaces has been identified, evaluated and a working prototype of a gamified parking assistant was developed. A three-month field experiment across Germany with 372 people showed that the concept worked out and a comprehensive map of on-street parking spaces could be generated.

Results concerning the effects of different gamification design features on motivation and participation received international attention in the gamification research community and were published in the article:

Morschheuser, B., Hamari, J., & Maedche, A. (2019). Cooperation or competition – When do people contribute more? A field experiment on gamification of crowdsourcing. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 127, 7−224. doi: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2018.10.001

Please see the paper for full details:
Article in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Free pre-print on ResearchGate


Furthermore, several news media reported about this project, including the national radio channel Deutschlandfunk as well as the newspapers Badische Neueste Nachrichten (BNN) and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).


Results ParKing Experiment

Results of the ParKing experiment


The website provides a detailed overview about the study conducted and the prototype developed with students from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Mannheim. The website summarizes bothproject vision and conducted research.


Experimental conditions ParKing App

Comparison between the effects of cooperative, competitive, and inter-team competitive gamification features.



Based on the results of this study, Robert Bosch GmbH developed the app “Parkineers”, which has been released as iOS and Android app in Germany.

Parkineers, the new community-based parking app, allows you to become a part of the city and to find parking spots more easily. You take responsibility and share information about parking in your neighbourhood with the community. In return, you get parking spot information for places you don’t know well. Parkineers wants to simplify the search for parking spots step by step – completely free, without any commitments but with a lot of fun.Robert Bosch GmbH




Arnott, R., Rave, T., & Schöb, R. (2005). Alleviating urban traffic congestion. MIT Press.

Axhausen, K. W., Polak, J. W., Boltze, M., & Puzicha, J. (1994). Effectiveness of the parking guidance system in Frankfurt am Main. Traffic Eng. Control 35, 304–309.

Shoup, D.C., 2006. Cruising for parking. Transp. Policy 13, 479–486. doi:10.1016/j.tranpol.2006.05.005

Shoup, D.C., 2005. The high cost of free parking. Planners Press, Chicago.

Morschheuser, B., Hamari, J., & Maedche, A. (2019). Cooperation or competition – When do people contribute more? A field experiment on gamification of crowdsourcing. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 127, 7−224. doi: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2018.10.001


Research projects

Revival of MUDs – Designing a text-based adventure game that helps children learn handwriting

In collaboration with STABILO International GmbH, we develop a text-based adventure for the STABILO DigiPen. Our aim is to transform learning and optimization of handwriting into a “gameful” and engaging experience by using design principles of multi-user dungeons (MUDs).

Project objectives:

  • Development and empirical investigation of a text-based adventure game for the STABILO DigiPen
  • Investigation of the impact of various design interventions on user behaviour and AI-based gesture recognition
  • Derivation of theoretical and practical recommendations for designing gamification and serious game approaches to optimize handwriting

Gamifying the human-AI interaction

Can digital games and their design principles improve the collaboration between humans and artificial intelligence (AI)? Funded by FAU’s Emerging Talents Initiative (ETI), we are investigating how game design principles can help to optimise human-AI teaming.

Project objectives:

  • Investigation of cooperation in games and derivation of design principles
  • Investigation of the collaboration between humans and non-player characters (NPCs) in games and derivation of insights into designing more effective human-AI collaboration
  • Conducting studies on the gamification of human-AI collaboration

Completed projects

Projects carried out outside of FAU:

More details on our previous research will follow soon. In the meantime, please see our publications.