An inventor's new gizmo could signal the end of the road for searching for a parking space.
Adrian Bone from Lewes has produced a ‘parking patch’, a sensor to be placed in parking spaces to detect when they are being used.
The 52-year-old said the invention would “revolutionise the parking industry and could mean the end of traffic wardens forever”.
His company Deteq Solutions has been testing the idea at the Sussex Innovation Centre in Falmer.
After producing a number of prototypes, Mr Bone will pitch the idea to Brighton and Hove City Council next month.
In that meeting he hopes to get the go-ahead to install the 7cm sensors in thousands of car parks and street spaces across the city.
Mr Bone said: “Rather than driving round fruitlessly searching for empty spaces, drivers would be able to check their mobile phones to find where to go. It just makes so much more sense.
“There have been ideas like this before but now the technology exists to make it a reality.”
Under Mr Bone’s system of “dynamic parking”, the devices could record exactly how long motorists are parked and charge the drivers automatically.
The patches would also alert the authorities when drivers have parked illegally or be used to reduce congestion.
Mr Bone said: “Our sensor could even detect whether a person had a permit so the council could send a fine to the vehicle owner rather than paying someone to wander around the streets all day.
“They could see at the click of a button who was parked illegally and it would stop people cheating the system.”
But the inventor said he was worried Brighton and Hove City Council might reject his parking patches because of the initial cost and the fear of lost revenue.
If the council were to give the parking proposal the green light, Mr Bone would charge around £1.8 million to install the sensors on every one of the 35,000 parking spaces in Brighton and Hove.
His company would then charge an annual fee for maintenance and running costs.
But the inventor said the cost to the taxpayer would be recouped before the first year was out.
He said: “The council employs about 80 traffic wardens and pays them about £25,000 a year. That’s £2 million a year saved right away.
“They would actually get more revenue because the sensors could tell them exactly how long people had stayed.
“And the data they get from the sensors would help to set proper parking prices to make sure vacant spaces are used.”