San Fran to use wireless sensors to monitor parking spaces

The city of San Francisco this fall plans to test some 6,000 of its 24,000 metered parking spaces using a trial of a wireless sensor network that will indicate which of the spaces are free at a given moment.

Displays on street signs and smart phone maps will alert drivers to empty parking spaces. And the trial might even include the ability to pay for parking via mobile phone and add to the parking meter using their phones without having to make that mad dash to the meter. The program will also allow the city to adjust parking times and prices. For instance, time could be lengthened in the evening to accommodate long visits to restaurants.

San Francisco is using a system from Streetline, a company that has adapted a wireless sensor technology called "smart dust." A wirelessly connected sensor embedded in a 4-inch-by-4-inch piece of plastic glued to the pavement adjacent to each parking space is what transmits the information.

For more:
- check out The New York Times

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