Parking scofflaws have come up with several ways to thwart time restrictions in parking spaces — wipe the chalk off your tires, switch license plates (which we would never recommend). Those solutions are now out the window thanks to underground sensors that alert the authorities when you've overstayed your welcome.
New parking sensors in Melbourne, Australia, will automatically notify the closest meter maid or traffic patrol when a car has lingered five minutes past the time limit.
The sensors will be buried beneath each parking space, and will record when a car moves in and out of said parking space. After counting up to the posted time limit, the system will ping the parking inspector who is closest to the offending vehicle, who will trudge over to write you a ticket.
The newspaper The Age reports it could be a boon for the Melbourne city government, which already reaped a whopping $36 million (in U.S. dollars) last year from parking enforcement. Melbourne expects to garner another $3.2 million a year from the new sensors, which cost $5.8 million to install.
For the record, we much prefer friendly, helpful pro-parker technology, like apps that help you find open parking spots or water filtration systems that turn lots' stagnant puddles into oases of clean water.
But like RFID-enabled hotel towels, this suggests a future full of technology designed to make sure no one ever gets away with anything, even something utterly innocuous. It's not a far leap to a generation of sensors that use NFC to automatically bill your credit card for traffic transgressions.
So much for sprinting back to the car to move it across the street.
What would make this less annoying and more profitable to the city would be to integrate the toll payment system (like EZ Pass or Sun Pass) into the meter so it bills your account for just the time you spent in the spot. That would be far more agreeable than notifying a cop to give you a ticket because the darn meter ran out of time.
Yes, it would be MUCH less annoying if you could just swipe your card at the meter/call a number and punch in your account/meter ID.
However, it would be less profitable for the city (since obviously that's what it's all about).
By having a meter/ticket sensor they are ensuring that you are always OVERPAYING (either through buying more time than you need, or paying parking tickets).
So does it also call them back and send messages like "Nevermind, they purchased 20 more minutes" or does it just immediately flag whatever car that's sitting there for a ticket regardless if the Meter Maid got there in time or not?
Quite frankly I'd have a bit of fun with this... Make the Meter Maid run all over town and then just pay as she/he arrives. Perhaps I'd leave a message on my window that says "Dance Puppet!"
(I dislike Meter Maids greatly.)
EXACTLY. The technology to let people just park and pay is already here. This is a money grab, plain and simple.
@Turbo Two Tone: While it would be a severe nuisance and highly illegal, it would also be possible to use a network of dump cars: automobiles with VINs filed off, pinks and registrations written off as totaled, etc. But yes, "Dance, Puppet!" notes are a must.
This seems like an expensive way to become cost efficient. With camera technology that can take multiple objects introduced to a large scene, time how long each has remained without movement, highlight said objects after a predetermined time set point, and send alerts/notifications, why would anyone go through the trouble of burying sensors in the pavement under each parking space? This technology is already being used in airports and parking everywhere.
I'd get scale models of Atlas and P-Body from Portal 2, then have them stand by the robo meters while holding signs stating 'Stop Snitchin!'
Sit back and watch the chaos unfold.
Of course, the local constabulary would then be massively wroth with me afterwards.
Turbo Two tone has the right idea here lol