Car Parking Technologies The days of burning precious fuel was circling the block looking for an open parking space are dwindling. A smartphone application developed by Car Parking Technologies Ltd. is currently in its pilot testing stage, and it promises to handle the work of locating vacant parking bays. It simply alerts participating drivers when a new space opens up, saving them time and money—not to mention sparing them road rage-induced headaches. So far, the system is only in use in two places in the world—the United Kingdom and San Francisco, California—but it should soon take off in other cities around the globe.

In the United Kingdom, the app has recently begun a two-month trial organized by government officials and parking lot firm Car Parking Technologies Ltd. While not yet ready for primetime, this app will soon be available to all parking bosses and motorists. The secret to this system's success is a small, glass-domed sensor. These sensors are currently being embedded in the centers of public parking spaces throughout the U.K., and they have the ability to sense when a car is present in a space, when a car leaves a space, and even when a car has overstayed its allotted time in a space. They communicate this information to app users via signals sent to their smartphones or other Wi-Fi-equipped devices. All that's left for the driver to do is navigate to the open space and pull in—that is, as long as someone else hasn't gotten to it first.

U.K. traffic officials are seeing additional advantages to this parking program. For one, it should reduce traffic congestion by expediting the parking process. Second, it opens up the possibility of "pre-booking" a space for a specific time, allowing families to find parking in time to catch a movie and truck drivers to schedule loading and unloading periods. 

The parking app is really taking off in San Francisco, where it's been implemented by local government since March 2010 thanks to federal funding from the Urban Partnership Program. Officials installed 8,300 sensors in test areas throughout the city. Unlike in the U.K., however, this program incorporates parking garages, too. Sensors on the entrance and exit gates count the number of cars entering and leaving the garage, sending alerts to app users if spots become available inside. Interestingly, the sensors allow parking prices to adjust according to the level of demand—that means lower prices when there's a lull.

This news was published on behalf of Carcraft – the UK’s largest used car supermarket.