madrid parking meterThe next time you drive to Madrid, Spain, it might be interesting to take note of the parking meter system throughout selected areas. After all, massive changes were made this week, where selected parking meters have been updated in order to charge the owner of the vehicle a variable rate depending on whether he/she drives a gas guzzler. In a nutshell, if your ride has lower emissions, your parking will be subsidized, while those that are deemed to be gas guzzlers or have higher emissions levels will be charged more.

Just how does that system work in the first place? Drivers will have to input their license plate number in order to validate the spot, where these networked parking meters will hunt down your vehicle information in a national database, before charging up to 20% more for older vehicles and models that run on diesel. Hybrids and clean rides will be able to enjoy discounts of up to 20%, too.

I do have a question for those who have had experience with these connected parking meters – what if someone uses the license plate number of a known green vehicle even if it is not your ride, in order to obtain a discount? Would the system be able to tell that the number does not correspond to the actual vehicle? And what happens if you are the owner of said hybrid ride, but half of Madrid has used your vehicle license number when they park? That’d put anyone in quite a spot, certainly and literally.

Filed in Transportation . Tags: science. Source: businessweek
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