Did Parking Meters Just Get Too Smart?

This week, the on-street parking meters in Santa Monica, California, have evolved to the next state of sentient existence. Now, whenever a car leaves a spot, the meter will reset itself, even if there's still time left on the meter. The tiny, measured-in-minutes lottery prize of the urban driver is no more.

Through the use of parking space sensors (which we've written about before), Santa Monica's meters now know when a car leaves a spot and can automatically reset itself to require whoever parks there next to pay the full price of parking. It's part of the intelligent parking system that the city has been rolling out, which includes the ability to accept coins and credit cards, send text messages when metered time is running out, and compile information to help the city better price its parking to correspond with demand.

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