What if parking in San Francisco got cheaper… and then pricier?

Special thanks to @naro, who sent me this idea via (my French-language) Twitter account.  Seen on Engadget.com: San Francisco has just installed “smart” parking meters, allowing for demand responsive pricing.  This summer, some 5,000 traditional parking meters have been replaced by the model shown above.  Not only do these meters allow you to pay with your credit or debit card (thus ending the interminable search for spare change), but they also charge you based on the demand of the spot.  A motorist can pay anywhere from 25 cents an hour to 6 dollars an hour based on the number of available spaces.  Special sensors in the parking meters identify the number of parked cars and adjust their prices accordingly.  These same sensors allow motorists to check the availability of parking (and parking prices) in various neighborhoods via their computer or smartphone.  Now, before leaving the house, people can see whether it’s best to drive or ride a cable car!

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