Shortening Dreaded Parking-Lot Lines

Few things are more stupefyingly boring and unproductive as waiting in a long line in a parking garage before you can pay what you owe and get out.
Big city parking garages are among the most unappealing places on Earth, filled with grit, grime, exhaust and more than a few dubious-looking people. Being required to wait on line to grab a ticket or flash a key card every time you drive into the lot and waiting to pay on your way out can waste 10 minutes a day or more.

But new technology may allow you to get into and out of parking lots quicker than ever. By applying radio-frequency-based auto-vehicle identification (AVI) technologies, you can drive right in and drive right out. The system reads your vehicles identity upon entry and exit and transfers the data to an automatic payment system. After setting it up, you do nothing but pay your credit-card bill each month.

AVI parking not only offers a better customer experience for the parker; it has also been proven to be more efficient and ultimately less costly for parking-lot operators than traditional swipe cards or keypads. And its getting more sophisticated every day. TransCore, a major proponent of the technology, has implemented AVI to define parking access in settings where multiple users are allowed varying levels of access. University parking structures and lots were among the first to adopt the technology, since they have different levels of users -- faculty, staff, students and disgruntled former students among them. Very sophisticated systems will completely deny access to the latter. Of course, that might make them even more disgruntled.
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