TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Parking Meters Get Smarter

Parking Meters Get Smarter

Monty Solomon (
Sun, 31 Jul 2005 21:16:21 -0400

Wireless Technology Turns Old-Fashioned Coin-Operated Device Into a
Sophisticated Tool for Catching Scofflaws and Raising Cash


Technology is taking much of the fun out of finding a place to park
the car.

In Pacific Grove, Calif., parking meters know when a car pulls out of
the spot and quickly reset to zero -- eliminating drivers' little joy
of parking for free on someone else's quarters.

In Montreal, when cars stay past their time limit, meters send
real-time alerts to an enforcement officer's hand-held device,
reducing the number of people needed to monitor parking spaces -- not
to mention drivers' chances of getting away with violations.
Meanwhile, in Aspen, Colo., wireless "in-car" meters may eliminate the
need for curbside parking meters altogether: They dangle from the
rear-view mirror inside the car, ticking off prepaid time.

These and other innovations are reshaping the parking meter, a device
that dates to 1933, when an Oklahoma inventor named Carl Magee,
working with some colleagues, came up with the coin-operated,
single-space mechanical meter as a means of freeing up parking spaces
in downtown Oklahoma City. Two Arkansas companies have dominated the
industry: POM Inc., of Russellville, which traces its lineage to Mr.
Magee and his band of inventors; and Duncan Parking Technologies Inc.,
of Harrison.,,SB112008647932273412-wcgfanaRACAlCq6aTdEWvysXWoY_20060701,00.html

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