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Big Brother Is Parking You - The Cover Story
October 2013
 
 
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Tue, Sep. 13th, 2005 02:39 pm
Big Brother Is Parking You

Last week I parked in Central Parking at Logan. Like most airport parking garages, you take a ticket that logs your entry time, and you process it at the end of your stay to pay your fee. Logan has recently implemented automated pay stations, which allow you to pay and leave without having to sit in line at a toll booth. Its exceedingly useful if you're leaving at odd hours when only one agent is on duty.

This week, I noticed something very odd. I drove in, got my ticket, and found a space on the first level of the garage. I unloaded my car and went to my flight. I didn't register my car in any way with the garage other than taking the ticket. I flew to work, worked a few days, and flew back. To my considerable surprise, the receipt the paystation gave me had my parking space, row and level, on it. I had never actually given my location to any agent or system at Logan, so I'm kinda curious how they figured out where I parked. The best I can figure is that they took my car's picture as I pulled in and took the ticket, and then must've had some poor guy go climbing through the garage taking down the plate numbers of every vehicle in there so they could have another guy take down all the plate number from the entryway pictures and let a database sort them out. Does anybody know how this actually works?

Current Mood: curious curious

5CommentReplyShare

taranhero
taranhero
Taran
Tue, Sep. 13th, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC)

Weird. Last time I parked there, the ticket had info spaces for row/level, but they weren't filled in.


ReplyThread
petercooperjr
petercooperjr
Peter Cooper Jr.
Wed, Sep. 14th, 2005 11:34 am (UTC)

Do you have a Fast Lane type transponder on your vehicle? There could just be radio recievers everywhere.


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bronzite
bronzite
Robert Bronzite
Wed, Sep. 14th, 2005 11:40 am (UTC)

Nope, I don't have anything in my car for locational purposes except the GPS Receiver, which isn't an active system. Besides, that wouldn't work for everybody...


ReplyThread Parent
noble_resonance
noble_resonance
Wed, Sep. 14th, 2005 03:47 pm (UTC)

Well you see, last year is Software Engineering Mike and I created a "Electronic Parking Garage System" that tracks such things. Apparently Pollice has been selling his students work. Remind me to talk with him about that.


ReplyThread
dabion
dabion
Wed, Sep. 14th, 2005 08:30 pm (UTC)
Not too far off the mark

Boston.com wrote an article about this very phenomenon.

http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2005/03/13/forget_where_you_parked_your_car/


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