Some time ago I noticed train station carparks were starting to get live car space indicators informing car drivers of how many vacant spaces in the car park. It is a great idea for busy station car parks. How do these work? I don't know. I doubt a sensor would be embedded in every space, but maybe they have been.
The same goes for City of Melbourne on street parking spaces. There is some kind of car detecting sensor in some parking spaces. This has taken many by surprise when they delay buying a parking ticket that indicates the expiry time and although they have returned to their car before the expiry time, they still have received an offence notice as they have actually been there longer than the time allowed. There is a five minute grace period, so I guess they are well and truly guilty. I can't imagine it taking five minutes to buy a parking ticket, but thinking about the old and infirm or a mother loaded up with kids to organise, perhaps a ten minute grace period might be fairer.
I don't go to large shopping centres often, like Chadstone or Southland. In fact it is some years since I have been to either. Neither is good for public transport, although I suppose the promised railway station will eventually be built at Southland. Frankly it is the parking that puts me off going to these large shopping centres. I just get overwhelmed. I don't know where to park. I don't know which area car park I need to be in. There might be no parking left and I have to go home. It is stress I don't need in life. I am less stressed by a late train or tram.
However, R visited Chadstone yesterday and told me they now have a system of lights to indicate free spaces. I think he said there are indicator lights at each row of cars and individual lights for each space that indicate with a glance if a space is free. If you see there are free spaces in a row, turn in and look for a green light for a vacant space. Red light for occupied and blue for disabled spaces. This is a great idea. It is not really going to get me to go to Chadstone, but it is a step in the right direction.