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Future Thinking

How smart sensors make city parking stress-free

Finding a spot to park in busy city streets can be frustrating. If our cars can talk to roads and even buildings, could this help make the stressful city drive become a thing of the past?

Endlessly circling around congested city streets trying to find a place to park is no-one’s idea of fun. And it’s even more frustrating if, unbeknownst to you, there are plenty of spaces just a few blocks away.

But what if your car could “talk” to city streets and find out where the nearest free space was, thanks to smart sensors embedded in the road surfaces? What if a car park could send you a message on your phone, telling you it had plenty of free spaces at a discounted rate?

Cities around the world are testing these smart parking solutions to see if they can improve everyday life for its drivers. Zia Yusuf, president and CEO of smart parking developers Streetline Inc, explains why he thinks this technology could transform our cities, managing traffic flow, easing congestion and cutting down the time we waste looking for a parking spot.

Zia Yusuf spoke to BBC Future at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Additional footage: Courtesy: Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Shutterstock

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