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No more quarters or tickets: Audi tests wireless parking payments


June 11, 2013

Audi's pilot system provides for wireless parking payments

Audi's pilot system provides for wireless parking payments

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We've heard about cars that can park themselves, but such technology brings up a relevant question: how will such cars handle paid parking lots? Sure, you could drop them off after picking up your parking ticket, but Audi has a better idea. Its "Audi connect wireless payment" system, which is undergoing trials now, allows for two-way payment communications between car and parking facility.

While the new system closely follows the piloted self-parking system that Audi showed at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, it isn't being developed exclusively for self-parking cars. In fact, it could help to increase convenience for anyone that uses paid parking. Similar to the RFID parking tag systems used by some private lots but in an application that could be used for public parking, Audi's system seeks to eliminate the hassle of physical payments by using wireless communications. It essentially allows the driver to enter, park and leave without an extended stop for ticket handling or physical payment.

The system uses an owner-specific RFID transmitter mounted on the windshield of the vehicle. The owner activates the transmitter with an online registration process. Instead of the tedious process of grabbing a ticket, storing it safely for hours or days and then presenting it to an attendant or machine upon check-out, the system automatically recognizes the RFID tag, keeps tabs on the parking times and sends the owner a monthly bill. The charges are automatically debited from the user's account.

Audi is beginning a trial of the system now in its home city of Ingolstadt, Germany. The pilot project is being conducted with the help of the Ingolstadt Economic Development Agency, which operates nine public parking areas in the city. The trial will include up to 13,000 test cars, and all Audi AG employees will be able to sign up for the option when leasing a new car.

Audi's system is a simple but notable upgrade. Many current public parking systems use automation of some form. Machines deliver time-tracking tickets and open gates, and in some cases, replace a parking attendant in reading the ticket and accepting payment upon departure. Audi's system just makes for more seamless parking by replacing the physical elements with wireless machine-to-machine communications.

Audi's piloted parking system displayed at CES uses even more advanced wireless communications between the parking area's computer system and the car. This system guides the car to an open parking spot, relying on the parking garage's computer to provide the parking space location and a series of in-car ultrasound sensors to guide the car to the space without a driver behind the wheel. When combined with the wireless payment system, a driver could essentially just pull up to the parking lot entry and get to where they're going, relying on technology to park the car.

Source: Audi

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

We've had that for years in Portugal. It's a Portuguese invention called Via Verde and it has already been exported to numerous countries. It can be used in highways, car parks and even petrol stations.

João Martins

We've had that for years in Portugal. It's a Portuguese invention called Via Verde and it has already been exported to numerous countries. It can be used in highways, car parks and even petrol stations.

João Nuno Martins


in the future on restaurant MacDrive

Joel Ribeiro

Get parking garage companies involved IE Airports, cruise ports etc. Where one pays for parking & malls

Stephen Russell

We already have this type in Singapore. In fact our road fees on highway is wireless. And we are going into next stage of using satellite tracking and charge based on how far you go... =P

Windsor Lim

Wow, that is one technology I really don't care about nor wish Audi would spend its R&D effort into. How about more interesting things, such as lower gas mileage in the US, or electric cars, or other more interesting things we'd like to see.

What's going Audi? That's not terribly exciting.


The system are already in place to pay for the parking. Metro uses one for all their parking lots, and the EZPass system and the ParkMobile could be used as well. BUT the self parking programming will be great. It is great that so many manufactures are working on system, but like so much other technology there are lots of announcements but NO deliverable products.

If you look at what small amount of technology car manufactures have rolled out and that they stick this technology ONLY on their most expensive models we have a very long way to go. Why do you have to buy a fancy sound system and leather seats before you can get self parking?


That why parking tickets issued must be paid at the Department of Parking and Transportation or online within 30 days of the citation date to lessen traffics. In addition to that, this new invented technology will help more about this park payments. Failure to pay a fine can result in additional penalties. If you feel you have received a citation in error, you may file a petition online or at the Department of Parking and Transportation within 30 days of the citation date. Citations double if not paid within 30 days of issue.

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