It can be one of the biggest headaches related to towing a caravan or driving a big motorhome around the country … finding a space to park in our towns and cities!
While it might seem like a cracking idea to explore that beaut little country town for a few hours before pressing on to that idyllic camping spot, it can be the start of a good- mood-evaporating nightmare! Round and round you go, around tight corners and busy streets looking for a parking space that’s big enough for you to squeeze in to. Even in towns that have thought to allocate a handful of spots for towing vehicles, these are commonly taken up by other luckier souls.
So, round and round you go, burning up the fuel budget and your good cheer. Now and again, you’ll get lucky and a convenient spot will open up for you, but – often as not – you’ll either park a hundred miles away or you’ll just mutter your favourite obscenity and head off into the sunset.
Well, don’t hold your breath … but relief, of sorts, could be on its way (eventually). Bosch has just unveiled an incredible new system whereby parking spaces are able to communicate with drivers to let them know whether a space is available and whether it is suitable for a particular rig.
Here’s how it works. CD-sized electronic sensors are installed either on, or in, the bitumen in front of each parking space and these wirelessly communicate whether or not the space is being used. Drivers can access the information via a web portal or a mobile app and therefore check as they arrive in a town where there is parking available. Grey nomads will be able to filter the results by factors such as the length of the space and whether, for example, it can accommodate a vehicle towing a caravan. All being well, the mobile app can be used to direct happy grey nomads straight to a suitable space. Even if it can’t it might at least save a fair bit of driving around frustration
The disc-shaped sensors which are about three centimetres tall are weather-proof and tough enough to survive a regular pounding by heavy vehicles. The batteries in each will last for up to seven years.
Now, Bosch reckons that about one-third of the traffic volume in city centres is caused by cars searching for parking space. And it says the average motorists drive around some 4.5 kilometres searching for a place to park. You can probably multiply that figure by 10 if you happen to be towing a caravan in a busy town!