In a use of technology that could transform the way people park cars, Roosevelt Island in New York City is installing a system of sensors designed to make it easier for drivers to find a curbside spot–or get a ticket, reports the Wall Street Journal. At the core of the system are small devices embedded underneath parking spaces. They detect the presence of a car, then transmit that information to a central data center. From there, it can be fed to street signs that direct drivers to open spots or be matched up with parking-meter data. That way, ticket-writers can be dispatched to places where they know there are scofflaws.
The data could also be used to design a scheme that increases prices when parking is in high demand and lowers it when lots of spots are available, encouraging people to park in less-sought-after places. The goal is to cut congestion caused by people driving around looking for parking. Such a system also has the potential to raise revenue and allow the city to reduce the number of people it needs to pay to write tickets. Streetline Inc., the San Francisco firm that makes the sensors, said it would soon begin installing and testing the system, which is similar to ones already at work in some California cities.