It really isn’t that hard to pay for your parking in the traditional fashion – you know, getting a ticket, and paying when you are leaving the premises. But Audi wants to make this whole thing an automated process, just to save you the hassle of looking for change. They have launched a vast pilot program involving 13,000 cars, testing a wireless payment system.
The project is underway at Audi’s home town of Ingolstadt in Germany. The participating cars are fitted with a system that let them communicate with the parking barriers via an individual RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) transmitter; kinda like your gym membership card. The system is connected to an online portal where you have previously registered for the service. The wireless transponder providing the link with each car is mounted on the inside of the windscreen.
This system, obviously, needs a specially-equipped parking lot, and the cost of all this makes the whole idea sound like an overkill. The test program in Ingolstadt is supported by Ingolstadt Economic Development Agency.
In the future, Audi wants to connect this program to their amazing automated parking service – currently under development. The ultimate goal is to enable the driver to tap a few buttons on his or her smartphone, and the system will do the rest. It enables the car to find the nearest parking space and to guide itself autonomously to that space and park. When you are ready to leave, you hit another button and the car comes out of the parking lot and pays for it, all on its own!
The connect wireless payment is going to be part of the firm’s Connect services, already offering services such as Google Earth, Google Street View, local fuel pricing, news and weather.