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A car that pays for its own parking? Audi's working on it

  • Audi Pilot Project: wireless parking payment Each car uses an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag to communicate wirelessly with the car park. RFID tags can be retro-fitted to existing vehicles as well as integrated into new cars. Photo courtesy: AFP RELAXNEWS/ Audi
  • The Audi A7 Sportback piloted parking demonstrator Piloted parking on the other hand will remain a prototype until more carparks can support the connected car technology needed for autonomous cars to navigate parking structures and find available spaces. Photo courtesy: AFP RELAXNEWS/ Audi

(Relaxnews) - Audi is testing a new connected car technology that will make waiting for carpark barriers to lift, trying to snatch a ticket from a machine while hanging out of the car window and frantically searching for coins when leaving all things of the past.

The Audi connect wireless payment scheme is currently being tested in Ingolstadt, Germany with 13,000 adapted cars that can communicate wirelessly with car-parking facilities. When a car arrives at the carpark, the barrier automatically raises and the fee for parking is automatically debited from the car's account, removing the driver from the equation.

The company's long-term aim is to integrate the feature with another technology -- piloted parking -- also currently in its prototype stage and which was demonstrated with much fanfare at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Using much of the same wireless technology, a car can automatically find an empty space and park itself. It can also, at the press of a button within a smartphone app, un-park itself and pull up next to its owner to make ingress -- especially with shopping and small children -- much easier.

Audi believes that it will be able to offer the connect wireless payment scheme as early as the end of this year, but piloted parking will take a little longer. Despite an array of laser sensors, internet connections and GPS and satellite access built into the test cars, the system only functions correctly when the carpark is also online and can tell the car which spaces are empty and the layout of the parking bays. Copyright (AFP RELAXNEWS), 2013.


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