Parking in New York City is a matter of being in the right place at the right time–and lots and lots of luck. Or you can forget the whole luck thing and just be willing to cough up a fistful of dollars for a decent parking space.

Yes, anyone who has tried to park anywhere around the five boroughs knows just how tricky it can be, finding a place to put your vehicle while you eat, dance, see a show, or whatever. But the New York City Department of Transportation is hoping to ease the pain of parking just a little with some Digital Age technology.

The plan involves putting electronic sensors in all parking spaces which will alert a network whenever the space becomes empty. Drivers we be able to access the system using any web enabled device or their smartphone, or let themselves be alerted when a space becomes empty.

The pilot program is just being rolled out in the Bronx for now. The little sensors, about the size and shape of a hockey puck, must be able to handle street sweepers, snow plows, construction traffic, regular traffic and everything New York City streets withstand on a daily basis.  Officials hope the new sensors will survive the harsh New York winter and a half a years worth of abuse. If the sensors work as promised DOT workers will begin expanding the project around the city in an effort to reduce the amount of time drivers spend searching for an empty parking space. It is possible more sensors could be installed around the city by the end of this year, assuming they work as promised.

A similar program was successfully installed and tested in San Francisco, but the New York environment is quite a bit harsher than California, so officials want to be certain it withstand the rigors of what the northeast can throw at it.

Suffice to say, the hopes and dreams of just about everyone who has to park in New York rest on these sensors.

We’ll keep you posted.

Image: Pixomar /