The internet might finally put an end to the problem of finding a parking space in the city.
Some companies in the US are combining the technology already used in some parking garages with new technology to allow users to access information online.
The potential is that drivers may be able to not just check for available parking in garages and even street parking in some cities, but also reserve spaces on their mobile phone or PDA as they approach a spot.
A Maryland-based company will offer a service in the 30 largest US cities this summer whereby it will call garages on the phone to check availability, and will pass on the information to drivers who call up for the service.
In Oakland, California, the Bay Area Rapid Transit may implement a system so that drivers could reserve spots in parking lots that had sensors embedded in parking spots, while signs on the highway notified drivers which lots were full.
And in a popular area of San Francisco, sensors are already monitoring 250 parking spots and the information they provide may be posted online so that drivers can check for spaces on their mobiles.
The technology will also alleviate the problem of feeding meters with change, as drivers may be able to pay via the internet or by mobile phone.
Meanwhile, SpotScout will offer drivers the chance to share information with each other about parking; when a driver is about to leave a space, he or she can notify other drivers via SpotScout. Even better, it lets members rent out their driveways for a period of time if they're not using them. The service with debut in July.