Technology is taking much of the fun out of finding a place to park the car. In Pacific Grove, Calif., parking meters know when a car pulls out of the spot and quickly reset to zero -- eliminating drivers' little joy of parking for free on someone else's quarters. In Montreal, when cars stay past their time limit, meters send real-time alerts to an enforcement officer's hand-held device, reducing the number of people needed to monitor parking spaces -- not to mention drivers' chances of getting away with violations. Meanwhile, in Aspen, Colo., wireless "in-car" meters may eliminate the need for curbside parking meters altogether: They dangle from the rear-view mirror inside the car, ticking off prepaid time.
Parking Meters Get Smarter, Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2005.