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New phone app alerts motorists about empty parking spaces

Street sensors which can alert motorists about empty parking spaces via apps on mobile phones are being trailed in Britain for the first time.

apps Updated: Aug 06, 2012 14:23 IST

Street sensors which can alert motorists about empty parking spaces via apps on mobile phones are being trailed in Britain for the first time.

The small glass-domed sensors are embedded in the centre of each bay and can tell when a car is present, absent, or has over-stayed its allotted time.

Details of empty bays are collected centrally and sent via mobile phone and wi-fi to motorists on their phones, who can then drive to the vacant space, the Daily Mail reported.

But drivers have to pay for to park over the phone. Once fully in operation it is envisaged that the system will also send special alerts to drivers when their paid-for time is running out.

One interesting thing of this new system is that if a driver does overstay his or her allotted time, the sensors will send a signal to the parking authorities who will send around a warden to stick a penalty ticket on the windscreen.

The sensors has been used in San Francisco but is being trailed by Conservative-controlled Westminster Council in London, which charges up to 4.40 pounds an hour for on-street parking.

“This has potential for the whole country. We’re piloting the first system of its kind in the Europe from this Wednesday. Smart sensors are being installed in parking bays for the first time on-street in the UK,” a spokesman for Westminster City Council said.

“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 minimize the need for motorists to endlessly trawl the streets searching for somewhere to park,” he added.