Parking ticket-fighting robot DoNotPay comes to San Francisco

Nothing sours a good mood faster than returning to your car only to see a parking ticket fluttering under your windshield wiper.

Maybe you didn’t see the “no parking during street sweeping” sign. Maybe you didn’t notice the color of the curb. Or maybe you thought you’d be in and out of the store too quickly for the meter maid to notice.

Whatever the story, help is on the way. DoNotPay, an online service that uses a robot lawyer to help drivers fight parking tickets, is coming to San Francisco.

Founded by London native and Stanford University student Joshua Browder, DoNotPay asks the user a series of questions — such as whether there are visible parking signs at the scene — determines whether the user can appeal, and guides the user through the appeals process.

So far the service has gotten drivers out of more than 200,000 parking tickets, according to NPR, and has won fans all over the internet. Its success rate reportedly is about 60 percent.

Next stop: San Francisco — a parking nightmare. NPR reports DoNotPay this month is expanding to cities including San Francisco, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

Affectionately refered to as the “Robin Hood of the internet” on Twitter, Browder has his sights set on bigger things than parking tickets. He programmed an iPhone app for human rights nonprofit Freedom House, created an app that helps educates lawyers in Africa on how to defend low-income clients and has helped clients resolve landlord tenant disputes and unexplained banking charges. NPR reports he is working on using his bot to help refugees apply for asylum.

Forbes recently recognized 20-year-old Browder as one of its “30 Under 30” entrepreneurs in the law and policy category.

Photo: Automobiles are photographed parked along B Street on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 in Hayward, Calif. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)


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  • i’ve heard parking is really bad in SF. the thing about apps/robots is that they have NO way of addressing corruption in our courts. we do. for even more about fighting legal issues and the system itself, i’d recommend checking out what is now the #1-rated legal guide for americans on amazon. it covers far more than traffic cases too. feel free to check out our reading sample:

    we hope we can help everyone with ALL their legal battles.

    will you be prepared, not if, but WHEN the legal system strikes???

  • William

    I drove for Lyft in San Francisco. You need to be aware that bus lanes are $288. If you go and tell them you can’t pay that in one week, then will charge you $60 instantly, then give you six weeks to pay the $288.

    First, the bus will pull up behind you and take a picture of your license plate. And second, they are putting CAMERAS on the BUS STOP! At midnight, with no bus running, you WILL get that ticket! And how can one person hope to fight against the entire city of San Fransisco? It’s not a parking police anymore. Now it’s a camera, and you can’t argue with a a machine.