I live and work in downtown Philadelphia, and parking here is ruthless, but it’s getting easier. We already have Parking Authority smart cards that all the city’s meters accept, and now the Philadelphia Parking Authority is considering wireless sensors in each meter that can detect an open space and then relay that information to a website. Driver’s would be able to use their PDA or iPhone or whatever gadgets that I can’t afford to check for parking spots in real time.
Parking Authority planning director, Rick Dickson (best name ever, I might add), says you could eventually access a list of the parking spots in desired area. If they create a google maps version, I think they’ll have a hit.
The technology is being tested out in San Fransisco right now. There’s no firm word that it’s going to be a reality in Philadelphia, but the Philadelphia Parking Authority has apparently already contacted vendors for the wireless sensors and they’re just waiting for feedback from their SanFran counterpart about how well the system works.
The future is now people. But see, if we had the flying cars we were promised, we wouldn’t need so many street level parking spots.