Madrid’s New Smart Parking Meters Know What You Drive And Punish Gas Guzzlers

Thanks to a new breed of smart parking meters, cars that save at the pump will also save at the parking spot.

Starting today, smart parking meters in Madrid will charge higher rates for less efficient vehicles, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

Drivers will punch their license plate numbers into a pad on the device, which will then check what sort of vehicle that number matches with in Spain’s equivalent of the DMV. Fuel efficiency and clean emissions will get you a discount of as much as 20%; older and diesel vehicles will face a surcharge, also up to 20%, Bloomberg says.

The meters will also charge extra for drivers looking to park on already-crowded streets. Networked together, the meters will collectively know which streets have more room, and will try to push motorists in those directions, Bloomberg says.

Smart parking meters aren’t an entirely new concept, however. Madrid has been experimenting with the idea since 2006, Bloomberg writes. And after a successful test in the Bronx last year, drivers in New York City will be able to pay for public parking via smartphone starting early next year, the New York Daily News reports.

SEE ALSO: Boston is setting up ‘smart benches’ in parks across the city

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