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Make Pittsburgh Autonomous Vehicle Friendly with Meter Feeder

Implement and pilot technology that allows both autonomous and non-autonomous vehicles to find and pay for their own parking in Pittsburgh.

Photo of Jim Gibbs
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Drive. Park. 


Pay-By-Vehicle is the next tool in the Meter Feeder suite of products, which allows both autonomous and non-autonomous smart vehicles to pay for parking on their own - without human interaction. 

The Pay-By-Vehicle software has been in development and is ready for real-world testing. The hardware can be installed into virtually any vehicle made after 1996 via a dongle under the dashboard. And if it’s a smart vehicle, the process is even easier. 

Once the hardware and software are installed into a vehicle, the driver simply needs to park their car as usual.  The vehicle begins to pay as soon as the vehicle is powered down, and won’t stop until the car is turned back on, or the reservation is terminated manually from the Meter Feeder app.  It uses an internet capable dongle, or the existing internet connection in smart vehicles, to send the data and payment to MeterFeeder servers and the enforcement officer’s tablets. The software allows a vehicle to pay for parking for the perfect amount of time without any human interaction. The software will be piloted in the vehicles of selected fleets and MeterFeeder employees. As we gather data, we can begin to roll out the software to the general public. 

This software is necessary to make the integration of autonomous vehicles into Pittsburgh as seamless as possible. By piloting this technology downtown in select individual’s cars we will be able to properly scale out to other areas in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. The software has benefits for more than just autonomous vehicles though. The software will eventually make its way into every vehicle, which will increase compliance rates dramatically and result in increased revenue for the city. Meter Feeder has already been able to improve efficiency in Greensburg, PA by over 25% since the launch of the mobile app. With the process being entirely automated, that number could increase. 

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

In the attached chart, we have compiled information published by the Pittsburgh Parking Authority. The chart shows how many tickets were issued to rental car companies in 2016 in the City of Pittsburgh. The minimum cost of a parking ticket in Pittsburgh is $25. Multiplying $25 by 5,433 tickets issued to fleets in 2016 is over $135,000. That is a huge chunk of money that these fleets (and anyone else visiting our city) would be better off not having to pay. They would be highly interested in getting Meter Feeder’s Pay By Vehicle Software installed in their fleets so that they can be sure that they will never get a ticket in the city of Pittsburgh again. Any fleet that parks on a street could benefit from this technology, like rental cars, utility companies, delivery companies, and autonomous cars. After we have proven the concept with fleet vehicles, the pay by vehicle software and hardware can be implemented into new consumer grade vehicles or purchased separately for older cars.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Prototype - you have built a prototype and tested it with potential users
  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Meter Feeder has been incorporated since 2015, and has produced multiple products and services devoted to making parking easier for everyone in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. With customers such as Greensburg and Sewickley, our products enable governments of any size to accept mobile payments for parking without upgrading their infrastructure. Check out our website at for more info.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $25,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

The funding money would go towards several things: 1. Paying for the parking of our test drivers in downtown Pittsburgh for the duration of the pilot. 2. Paying any parking tickets that my be issued due to errors in the software during the pilot phase 3. Purchase and installation of internet capable dongles into the test vehicles. 4. Cost of outreach campaign to find suitable test drivers that fit the requirements of our study. 5. Administrative costs associated with software licensing. 6. Travel expenses of Meter Feeder employees in the event that a internet capable dongle has to be serviced. MeterFeeder makes money by adding a daily convenience surcharge on top of normal parking rates. This applies once for a 24 hour period whenever you use the MeterFeeder app to pay for parking. If the driver uses the Pay-By-Vehicle system to pay for parking, the surcharge is automatically applied the first time the vehicle pays for parking that day

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

1. To have one fleet partially outfitted to automatically pay for parking. (Approximately 20 vehicles) 2. To create value for the City of Pittsburgh with increased parking compliance rates. 3. To create value for the drivers and fleets within the downtown area in having completely automatic parking payments, resulting in fewer tickets. 4. To prove that parking will not be an issue in the Pittsburgh of the future. Automated vehicles can operate on their own and won’t become cumbersome when they need need to park. We want to show that this is possible here in our city. 5. Collect data in an effort to monitor fleet behaviors, and gather data about parking habits and the effects that those habits have on traffic, parking spot availability, etc.


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Photo of Mike Farnan

Love it!

Photo of Jim Gibbs

Thank you so much!

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