Technology Could Find Empty Parking Spaces

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BRIGHTON, England, Feb. 1 (UPI) — A British company says it is developing a system of wireless sensors and mobile apps to help drivers with the often frustrating task of finding a parking space.

Deteq Solutions says the challenge lies in telling when a parking space is empty or occupied, without having to fit a car with any special equipment. The company says it is working on cheap, low-powered wireless sensors that could be glued to the surface in each parking spot.

The 3-inch-wide sensors would detect whether a car was present and wirelessly relay that information to a base station, which would provide the information to drivers via a smartphone app.

The app would give drivers real-time information about available parking spaces near them.

The hunt for parking spaces is not just frustrating, it is a major contributor to congestion, Paul Watters of Britain’s Automobile Association said.

“Most people are creatures of habit and like to park in the same area, so if their preferred spot doesn’t have any spaces they will often drive around waiting for one to become free rather than searching further afield,” he told NewScientist.com.

That results, experts say, in more emissions.

In one U.S. study of a 15-block area in Los Angeles, drivers racked up a staggering 930 million miles a year looking for parking spaces, wasting 47,000 gallons of gasoline and emitting 662 tons of carbon dioxide, NewScientist reported.

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