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Millard-Ball, Adam, Rachel R. Weinberger, and Robert C. Hampshire. 2021. “The Shape of Cruising.” Findings, September. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.28061.
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  • Figure 1. Radar plot of cluster centroids
  • Figure 2. Representative examples of each cluster
  • Figure 3. Geographic distribution of clusters
  • Figure A1. Illustrative sample of cruising trips


We analyze GPS traces of 5,316 trips that are cruising for parking in San Francisco and Ann Arbor, and use cluster analysis to develop a typology of five distinct types of search strategy. Our most striking finding is that most cruising trips do not involve circling. Partly because most drivers are able to find a space relatively quickly, a more typical cruising pattern involves just a few turns. While drivers often perceive that cruising times are long, most cruising trips appear to be less dramatic; repeated circling is the exception rather than the norm.

Accepted: September 04, 2021 AEST