By, Cecile Thirion, Marketing Director, Transportation Central and Local Government, Xerox Services

Here’s a toast to an anniversary that you probably don’t celebrate too often. Congratulations next month to the 78th anniversary of the world’s first installed parking meter. While you may not be popping the champagne to honor the milestone, it does offer some pause as to how that simple meter changed the way we park our car.

The parking meter wasn’t exactly the center of attention recently at the 2013 IPI Conference & Expo, the world’s largest educational event for parking and transportation held this year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but it made me think about a high-tech event, something more common in the Silicon Valley.

I saw lots of new parking players exhibiting this year at the show, from pay-by-phone, street-level sensors to all sorts of parking apps for your smartphone to make your parking experience less of a pain. I realized that many of these new offerings didn’t even exist a few years ago.

As a global parking solution provider, Xerox is playing a key role in this disruption. MIT Tech Review chose Xerox among the top 50 disruptive companies 2013 for creating innovations such as our algorithm-driven pricing model that sets parking prices on supply and demand for the city of Los Angeles.

We joined many others at the show to demonstrate how times have changed since the first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City in 1935. Our highlights included:

  • Live demo at our booth of the solution implemented for the LA Express Park Project  directly by our Parking CTO
  • Educational session on LA Express Park™ : design, implementation and initial results co-presented by our client Daniel Mitchell, City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation and Onno Zoeter, Ph.D. and scientist from our Xerox Research Center Europe.
  • Parking solution infographic: they sound sophisticated, for LA drivers parking is made simple
  • Regular news direct from the show we shared on Twitter via @XeroxTransport using #IPIConf

All these advancements give you time back in your day. Think about it: less circling the block, waiting for others to pull out of a parking space, using your smartphone to find a parking spot, pay for it and monitor the time left on it. Beyond helping you save time and park smarter, we’re really working hard behind the scenes to make your life easier (excellent and fun podcast by Kenny Malone, NPR reporter @RadioMalone).

Follow us @XeroxTransport to get more insights on the Transportation Industry.

When Cecile (@CecileSF) isn’t attending an event, you might see her @PARCinc collaborating with researchers.