What are self-driving cars supposed to do after they’re done driving you? It’s not a trick question, it’s a real problem that a team at TechCrunch Disrupt solved using Clarifai. Val.ai is an app that lets self-driving cars self-bid for self-parking spots.

One of the worst parts about driving is finding a place to park, especially if you’re a city-dweller. Even self-driving cars need to solve this problem at the end of the day. Val.ai is a way for autonomous vehicles to bid for nearby parking spaces … autonomously! When a self-driving car needs to park itself, it can submit real-time bids for local spots occupied by other autonomous cars. If a currently parked car knows it needs to pick someone up soon, it can accept a bid and relinquish its parking spot and earn some money. The winning bidder vehicle will then get directions to the vacated spot and secure a place to rest.

WHY WE ❤ IT

It takes special talent to foresee the problems of the future and solve for them today. Val.ai addresses something that most people don’t think about when they imagine a future with self-driving cars and solves a problem while monetizing it as well! Read more about Val.ai on TechCrunch.

HOW YOU DO IT

We caught up with Val.ai creator Gabriel Ortiz, CEO and Co-Founder of Nimblestack (a product shop that specializes in applying AI and automation to useful everyday products), to ask him to share his inspiration for Val.ai.

Clarifai: What inspired your idea for Val.ai?

Gabriel: We were inspired by ThingSpace and Mapquest and the power of managing traffic with A.I. we decided to combine this technology with Clarifai’s image recognition API and Autonomous vehicles to create a new style of business. We built Val.ai (Valet) with the ability to sell its parking space to other drivers. So owners of Autonomous vehicles can make money from their very special cars.

How did you build the app?

We used Clarifai, Verizon Thingspace, Mapquest, HTTP, JavaScript, JQuery, Geolocation, HTML5, CSS3. A challenge we ran into was the short amount of time to build the software, but we think we came up with a clever way to make money from autonomous vehicles while managing to complete our goals in the allotted time!

What was the best part about working with the Clarifai API?

The Clarifai API was actually really easy to integrate. We loved how much functionality we got for so little programming. Well done guys!

Thanks for sharing, Gabriel!

To learn more, check out our documentation and sign-up for a free Clarifai account to start using our API – all it takes is a few lines of code to get up and running! We’re super excited to share all the cool things built by our developer community, so don’t forget to tweet @Clarifai to show us your apps.

And give the Val.ai team (@nimblestack @aarongfranco @nothinggrinder @nimblechat) some props in the comments below. Until next time!