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Parking space alerts by cellphone

San Francisco's wireless sensor network

4:02 pm on Jul 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This fall, San Francisco will test 6,000 of its 24,000 metered parking spaces in the nationís most ambitious trial of a wireless sensor network that will announce which of the spaces are free at any moment.

Drivers will be alerted to empty parking places either by displays on street signs, or by looking at maps on screens of their smartphones. They may even be able to pay for parking by cellphone, and add to the parking meter from their phones without returning to the car.


Although this sounds cool, can you imagine 20 drivers getting the same message on their cell phone and rushing to one open parking space! Hey maybe this is next "spectator amusement" sport ...:)

[edited by: Tastatura at 4:03 pm (utc) on July 15, 2008]

5:25 pm on July 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It sounds very high tech, but I think people are going to kill each other.... Does anyone know what it is like to go to the mall on Christmas Eve. and try to find a parking space? Then when you do find one someone else thinks they have found it first. Yikes! Sounds like it ought to be a reality show.
5:36 pm on July 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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or by looking at maps on screens of their smartphones

Good idea.

Let's encourage people on busy crowded streets to play with their phones and look away from the road.

Pedestrian hood ornaments will be the logical result.

1:46 am on July 22, 2008 (gmt 0)


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1st road rage, 2nd gas rage, then for those that manage to get to a destination in spite of those two, parking rage. You'll have 50 people, with speeding toward a parking spot, all looking at their PDAs in a big pileup trying to get into the same parking spot.

It needs a queuing system so that when you get within a mile or so of your destination you push a button and it sends a signal to the one or two PDAs that are closest to the available parking spot that have requested a spot.

Or maybe you put the address in your GPS, push "parking" and then alerts you to an available spot when you get within .5 miles of your destination but it would still need some kind of a queuing system.

It is being "studied" in Philly as well.