There was an amusement park where I grew up that had a decidedly low-rent way to find your car: Hanna Barbera characters. You were parked in row Fred Flinstone 3, or Huckleberry 5. Parents would have one kid remember the number, and another remember the character. I don't ever remember seeing anyone wandering the lot looking for his car.

That simple device is nowhere near good enough for Heathrow (England) Airport's new $8 billion Terminal 5, opening next March. The terminal by itself is as big as London's Gatwick airport. It also has a 3,800-space short term parking structure tech'ed out with 35 infrared cameras and illuminated floors. When you pull in, it will capture your car's license plate number, then guide you to the nearest spot via arrows that light up on the floor. When you come back, you will put your ticket into a machine, or enter your license plate number, and a map on a 32-inch screen will show you where your car is and how to get there.

Siemens developed the system with a British firm, and it's not only practical, but it is expected to save 397 tons of CO2 per year due to fewer idling and circling cars. That's excellent. At least, it is as long as it works. When it doesn't, what it saves in CO2 you can expect it to replace with a tax on memories, patience, and shoe leather.

[Source: Engadget]

Share This Photo X