Users of Carleton University parking lots may soon be able to plug meters with their cellphones. The university has partnered with Espirity Inc. to pilot, over the summer, technology that would see drivers send a text message when they want to fill a parking meter, rather than returning to their cars, get a ticket and place it on the dashboard. If successful, and implemented across the university, this could be the first time that the text-messaging technology would be used for 100 per cent of parking transactions in Canada.
To make use of the application, users sign up at iParked.ca to submit payment and vehicle information. After arriving at a lot customers would send a text indicating how long they wish to park for. When the meter runs out, a message is sent to customers who can extend their time remotely. The technology was developed by Carleton graduate and computer science professor Dwight Deugo. “There is no need to leave important meetings, lunch dates or classes to fill the parking meter. Users can extend their parking time from wherever they happen to be,” Duego said.