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Parking Patch will help drivers find an open spot

New technology will guide drivers to vacant parking spaces in real time with the use of wireless networks and smartphone apps.
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Written by Amy Kraft, Weekend Editor on

It's always hard to find a parking space at the mall or in a big city. But now a parking patch could take the pain out of parking by using wireless sensors and apps to guide drivers to vacant spots.

Adrian Bone and John Bartington of startup Deteq Solution, came up with an idea to glue wireless sensors to the road surface in parking spots to detect when a car is present. The device relays information about each parking space to a wireless network that drivers can tap into when they're looking for a place to park.

The company is currently filing a patent on the parking patch and expects to run trials of the product at the University of Essex in the next few weeks.

New Scientist reports:

The app would give drivers real-time information about available parking spaces near where they were, with streets colour-coded depending on how many spots were free at the time.

The system can also alert traffic wardens when drivers have parked on no-stop zones, helping to reduce congestion.

And this isn't the first time technology to guide drivers to parking spaces has been used.

In Australia, a company called Park Assist guides customers to vacant parking spaces in shopping centers and reminds people where they parked. But the system uses cameras in each parking space, which is expensive and can only be used in multistory parking garages.

In San Fransisco, they are testing out a system to bury magnetometers in each parking, which are connected to a wireless network. So far, magnetometers have been placed in 8000 parking bays.

Paul Waters, head of road policy with the U.K.'s Automobile Association in Basingstoke says app-based technology will play an important role in improving the way we park.

Who knew that the future of parking looked so good?

Related video on SmartPlanet:

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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