Parking Meters From Hell

Fair warning—crazy French smart meters that detect the presence of cars and tell nearby authorities to come and bust you are making their way to the UK. Are we next?

The meters create magnetic fields capable of registering the metal mass of vehicles. They have a direct computer link to a police station.

Under a mechanism adopted by towns such as Issy-les-Moulineaux on the outskirts of Paris, cars are allowed 20 minutes of free parking. If they stay longer, the smart meter sends a message to a police control room, which alerts officers through their mobile telephones a quarter of an hour later.

To make matters worse, Claude Zandona, the man behind the manufacturer of these smart meters, envisions a system where users would pay using an identification number stored within their cellphone. The system would first send you a text message warning and then follow up with a notice that you have been fined. Tickets could be sent directly to your door—making the whole idea of meter maids obsolete. [Times Online via CNET]