NZ city trials SMS parking from Aust company

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An Australian company, CHS Parking Equipment, has delivered to New Zealand what it's touting as the world's first car parking using SMS.

CHS Parking Equipment, with mobile carrier Vodafone and software developer Synergy, has begun trialling text-message-based parking in the CBD of New Zealand's capital city, Wellington.

The system, dubbed TXT-a-Park, means drivers with a Vodafone New Zealand account can send an SMS to pay for car-parking on the retail strip, the company said.

The deployment is the first stage of a project which CHS Parking Equipment claims 'could see' TXT-a-Park introduced across Wellington and into other countries, including Australia.

'Unlike previous systems, motorists do not need to pre-register to use TXT-a-Park. Keeping the system user friendly was a key consideration for the project,' the company said.

Motorists send a text message incorporating the code of the meter associated with their specific parking spot. The transaction is confirmed immediately, the company said, in a text-message reply to the initial message.

The parking meter then dispenses a ticket for display in the car, and the transaction is charged to the driver's mobile phone account and appears on his or her next phone bill.

Wellington City Council, which operates the CBD parking meters involved, can configure the machines to offer different messages, parking costs and conditions for special events, the company said.

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