Clever Parking Spaces can Sense when you are Coming

Posted on 8 August, 2012 by MOVEHUT

When you are running late for work, that last you need to be doing is driving around, keeping your eyes peeled for a car parking space that is free. But now a new mobile application is being trialled in Westminster, London which could save you time and money (if you are careful).

Whether you are going shopping at retail commercial properties on the high street or if you work in the town centre and travel by car, finding an unoccupied car parking space can be the main bane of the day.

But the clever technology which uses sensors located in car parking spaces can inform a driver using their mobile phone when a car parking space is free nearby. It can also inform drivers if a car has overstayed its welcome, enabling you to sit and wait for the culprit to return to their car, so you can pounce on their space. Once in the space, drivers can simply pay their fee over the phone.

Speaking of the trial, a Westminster City Council spokesperson said: “This has potential for the whole country. Smart sensors are being installed in parking bays for the first time on-street in the UK.

“The sensors will provide the latest real time information about parking space availability, which people will then be able to view from their phones, iPad or tablet to find a vacant space.

“It will reduce congestion and minimise the need for motorists to endlessly trawl the streets searching for somewhere to park.”

However, if you are not careful, the technology can also be used to catch you out. As well as informing you if a driver has overstayed their welcome, the app also informs parking authorities, who will quickly dispatch a parking warden to the scene.

The trial which will begin a week today and finish on 15 October will be conducted in four streets located in Westminster: Jermyn Street, Sackville Street, Savile Row and St John’s Wood High Street. But if it is a success, the trial will be extended to other cities, including: Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester.

It will not only be people visiting city centres for shopping trips who will be able to benefit from the technology. Businesses will be able to use the app to ensure that their stock can be unloaded at a particular time. In the future, parking bays and loading bays may also be able to be pre-booked.

The Westminster City Council spokesperson added: “Data on traffic volumes can be shared with businesses for their own use – such as loading bay availability and parking spaces for West End theatres. It can be used to tackle disabled badge fraud, false use of taxi ranks and coach bays, and manage electric charging bays and pedestrianised zones.”

Do you think the app will be a success in cutting down congestion caused by people driving around looking for a parking space? Or do you think encouraging drivers to use a mobile phone at the wheel will only add to problems? Share your thoughts below.

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