Up to 13,000 drivers in Audi's home town of Ingolstadt, Germany, are currently participating in an automatic car park payent pilot project. The system will be available to all from the end of 2013.

Through the so-called Audi connect wireless payment scheme, a communication link is established between cars and car parks, enabling barriers to be raised and charges to be paid automatically in much the same wasy as automated road tolls.  

The pilot project will involve up to 13,000 test cars. The long-term aim is to establish wireless payment as another element of the connect option which already brings internet-based services such as Google Earth and Street View, local fuel pricing, news and weather information to car models.

During the trial phase, each car will communicate with the parking facilities via an individual RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) transmitter, the number of which is entered into a website by each driver to register for the service. The wireless transponder providing the link with each car is mounted on the inside of the windscreen.

The Ingolstadt Economic Development Agency (IFG Ingolstadt) provides the service. It operates nine car parks and underground parking garages in the city, with 6,200 spaces and 21 entrances and exits. The trial participants will receive a monthly parking charges bill from IFG. The amount is automatically debited from the user's bank account.

Audi employees leasing a new car in coming months will be able to participate in the trial.