From the parking meters of Blade Runner to the parking meters of the future

This Observation Deck video tackles the futuristic parking meters in Blade Runner that have come to fruition.

Adam Rogers hints at the end what the parking meters of the future might hold. I’m sure drivers would love to get information on their phones about what spots are available (perhaps for a low app price?). However, I wonder about a world where parking meters are not even needed. With the rise of GPS devices in cars and on car operators (through phones, GPS devices, etc.), couldn’t parking be tracked this way rather than through devices planted in the sidewalk? Imagine a world where you as a driver could pull up to an open spot at the curb and later drive away, all the while paying by a mobile transponder that kept track of the time you spent in that spot.

This also briefly reminds me of the fate of parking meters in many suburban communities. While cities still struggle with how to best raise revenues through parking meters or how to maintain and run the system (like with Chicago’s woes in recent years with the privatization of the parking meters), cheap parking at strip malls, shopping malls, and big box stores effectively killed the parking meter. This is unlikely to happen anytime soon in cities where space is at a premium but the contrast is intriguing.

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