By Melanie Lieberman
January 17, 2014

If you’ve ever gone around and around the block looking for a free spot, you know what a nightmare parking in the city can be. For the visitors and residents of Westminster, this takes an average of 15 minutes.

Fortunately, navigating London’s congested Westminster district just became much more simple—and high-tech.

Thanks to a successful trial of infrared sensors on five main thoroughfares, drivers can now use the ParkRight app on their smartphone to detect a vacant space as they approach their destination.

The detectors, created by Smart Parking, alert drivers to unoccupied bays, easing traffic, carbon emissions and—best of all—stress.

London is joining Dublin and other international cities in the fast lane of street management. In the next 3 years, as many as 3,000 infrared detectors will be monitoring the parking in London’s West End. We can't wait for this technology to come state-side.

Melanie Lieberman is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.