Did I leave my car in the garage or not?

Hi everyone!
I’m trying to figure out the best way to solve this.
My wife and I share a car. When she gets back home, she may leave the car in the street or in the garage. And more often than not I walk down to the garage, find that the car isn’t there, walk up again and go back in the street (losing precious minutes in the morning rush!)
I’d like to automate this in some way. At the moment we have a shortcut that runs when our phones connect to our home wifi and asks us “Where did you left the car?” and then sends a message to both of us with the answer we choose, but I’d like to do something smarter.
I was thinking of getting a Beacon and leave it in the garage and get a notification when my phone “leaves” the beacon, but that would trigger the notification also when I walk away away from my car after parking that in the garage, so it’s not really an option.

Do you have any idea on how to automate the answer to the question: “Did I leave my car in the garage or not?”

Thanks!
Francesco

Can you automate “something” with Airtags? :thinking:

Or put a some kind of device in the car, that connects to your wifi - if the car is in the garage?

Here are what I think the logical set of options would be.

Option 1 - Locate the Car

As @Hoppel suggests is an air tag (or equivalent) to give you the location.

Option 2 - Check a Location

Can you look to the street out of a window? If you can that’s probably easier than checking the phone.

Can you explicitly check for the presence of the car in the garage? A pressure sensor, light switch sensor that sits under the car when parked, ultrasonic distance sensor, video camera, etc.

Option 3 - Ask the Driver

Ask your wife directly each time you want to go and use the car and she parked it. And vice versa.

You may be able to have a system of where you deposit the car keys (e.g. two hooks) to indicate where the car is parked. A non-verbal communication.

Option 4 - Agreed Process

Both agree to park your car either consistently in the garage or on the street.

Hope that gives you some extra ideas.

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You could stick an RFID tag (EDIT: @sylumer is right — an NFC tag) somewhere discreet in the garage, and one on a sign or elsewhere near where you usually park on the street. Tapping either tag with your phone would trigger a shortcut that records which was triggered (eg by texting both of you, or setting a flag somewhere).

I think for a smart phone you would want to ensure that it is an NFC tag specifically rather than a generic RFID tag as the scope for those is much broader and phone compatibility is far from universal.

For this option, would it be better to have just one tag in the car? It could then geo locate or maybe check the WiFi connection.

Hi Hoppel,
thank you for your answer.

Can you automate “something” with Airtags? :thinking:

I thought of something like Airtag. However, on shortcut I can only automate “When a bluetooth device is connected” that could handle the “arriving”, but I don’t see a way to automate the “leaving” part.

Or put a some kind of device in the car, that connects to your wifi - if the car is in the garage?

Unfortunately my wifi signal doesn’t get to the garage (and it’s not easy to put it there, since it’s a shared space)

Thanks!
Francesco

Hi sylumer,
thank you for your answer and all the options provided!

Option 2 - Check a Location

Can you look to the street out of a window? If you can that’s probably easier than checking the phone.

Fair question but no, I can’t check the car just looking out of the window :slight_smile:

Can you explicitly check for the presence of the car in the garage? A pressure sensor, light switch sensor that sits under the car when parked, ultrasonic distance sensor, video camera, etc.

This is kinda where I was getting to, but wanted to check out if I was missing something simpler. Especially because I don’t know any of this sensor nor I know if they can be automated in some way. Any brand you can think of that I can check out?

Option 3 - Ask the Driver

Ask your wife directly each time you want to go and use the car and she parked it. And vice versa

This is where the “fun” begins. The car is supposed to stay in the garage during the night, but during the day we leave it in the street if we know we have to use it again before night. But then something might come up and we forget (or don’t bother) to move the car to the garage for the night.

And since there’s no one day equal to another, the following morning is like “Did you take the kids to sports yesterday? Did you do groceriers?” to find out if we left the car out or not.

You may be able to have a system of where you deposit the car keys (e.g. two hooks) to indicate where the car is parked. A non-verbal communication.

This is what my son suggested and I looked at him in awe because of such a simple and elegant solution! Unfortunately it has some flaws as well. Each one of us has and uses its own car key, so you may end up having a key on a hook and another on the other hook. But I guess who parked the car could move both keys to the right hook.
But another problem is that many times you throw the keys in your jacket or your purse to pick up the bags or other stuff from the car, and you would forget to put the keys on the hooks.
Anyway, this is a simple solution that we could try and see if we stick with the discipline.

Option 4 - Agreed Process

Both agree to park your car either consistently in the garage or on the street.

As a programmer, I love to agree on “reset state”. But to be honest that would be a limitation to the usage.

Thanks!
Francesco

I don’t use any and sensors with my phone beyond video cameras (off brand cameras from Amazon, nothing amazing, just handy for checking on our pet rabbits and who comes to the door when we are out).

There are many discussions on sensors of various types on this forum, but otherwise I am sure others who have practical experience of using specific brands can chime in and give you more valuable input on that.

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Hi tf2,
thanks for your answer!

I’m experimenting with NFC tags, I thought of having them both inside the car (not too close too each other) labeled “Garage” and “Street” and you should tap either of them.
Problem is that it seems that there is a very narrow area in the phone that react to the tag, and it’s a bit slow (compared to what happens when I pay with Apple Pay, for example). Maybe I should try other tags.
However, this sounds a viable solution. I would prefere something “mindless” but this can be a good compromise.

Thanks!
Francesco

But you still have to do the “thing” - meaning putting the iPhone to the right tag. :thinking:

How many people are in your garage? AirTag will be only “discovered” with iPhone-people around. But it was great during my vacation to check if the car is still there. With the new widget you see the latest position directly on you homescreen if you want.

@magobaol sorry, i think AirTags are no option for you: because two people want to see where the car is. AirTags are not shared via “Where is?” app.

Of course you could keep multiple tags in the car … :smirk:

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Well, actually AirTags (and similar) in the car pose another problem, that is privacy. I don’t want to know where my wife has been with the car, nor I want her knowing where I have been. Nothing to hide, of course, it’s just a matter of privacy.
I know, I know, I have a lot of requirements :slight_smile:
I’m thinking of replacing my wi-fi router for other reasons, and it’s possible that the new one could reach my garage spot (it’s just below my own yard, and there’s even a ventilation grill nearby!)
At that point I might be able to put some devices like the ones that @sylumer suggested :thinking:

Anyway, I love that you are trying to solve this :slight_smile: Thanks!

Francesco

Good reasons agains an AirTag. May a “wifi-extender” helps? I use one from Devolo and now my whole apartment is covered with wifi. With wifi in the garage, you also could use a cheap webcam, like the ones from Eufy. :thinking: