Behold, the Parking Meters of the Future senior editor Marc Gunther has a great blog piece today about a new line of artificially intelligent parking meters. The idea is to reduce carbon emissions while also helping California drivers better navigate the challenge of finding an open city parking space.

The products are being developed by San Francisco start-up Streetline and have already been beta-tested in Los Angeles, Sausalito and the company’s hometown.

Says company CEO Zua Yusuf:

“You can stand up in a room of 10 people or 1,000 people and ask them if they have had trouble finding a parking place and just about everybody raises their hand. The carbon impact, the pollution impact, the congestion impact — it’s just been completely ignored.

In Los Angeles, that would likely have to be a room of 10 or 1,000 valet parking attendants. Come to think of it, this technology may – if properly deployed – put a real crimp in the valet parking business. Meanwhile, these smart meters are also able to report themselves as broken, which says Yusuf would be a huge improvement on the current tendency of humans to embrace such malfunctioning posts.

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