Whether it’s trying to find somewhere to park or having to squeeze into the smallest space in the world, parking is arguably one of the least enjoyable parts of driving. And even when you’re not parking, traffic is easily slowed down by someone else looking for a vacant space.

Thankfully manufacturers and developers are working with cities across the global to find a number of parking solutions that will ease congestion. The wider aim is to ease congestion in the face of ballooning populations, by making cities smart and connected. Here are just some of the great ideas that could improve our parking woes in the not so distant future:

[Read more: How robots will build your next car in 'smart' factories]

Apps to find available parking spaces

Finding a vacant parking space can be a lengthy task in some areas, especially busy cities and shopping centres at the weekend. Driving around in circles waiting for someone to leave wastes some of your fuel and isn’t particularly good for the environment either.

What we really need is something that can tell us where an available space is – Islington and Ford are collaborating on such an app, called GoPark, which is being trialled around the London borough.

Using a smartphone app and a plug-in GPS device for the car, GoPark provides you with information and tips on where and when to park your car. It displays parking charges and how long you can stay in the space.

As it’s still a pilot scheme, only residents in Islington can test GoPark by requesting one of the devices - which are free via the GoPark website - for their car.

Watch the video below to find out more:

Paying for parking instantly

Fed up with looking for the ticket machine? In many towns we can already use a mobile app to pay for parking, but it’d be great if you didn’t even have to do that.

Autlo does exactly this using Bluetooth and the Autlo app that already has your bank details. As soon as you’ve parked and your phone is out of range of the Bluetooth of your car, the timer is automatically set. As soon as it’s back in range again the timer stops.

In fact, Autlo is already up and running in Estonia and was a Techstars winner at Ford’s SYNC AppLink Mobility Challenge this year, so you could expect it in your area sooner than you think.


Getting into impossibly tight spaces

Ever struggled to get out of your car because the parking space is so tight? We’ve all been there, but one day the inconvenience could end, and you could use your smartphone to park the car in tiny spaces while standing outside.

[Read more: Formula won? Mathematician has the solution to parking woes]

Mercedes Benz has been developing such a technology in a Remote Parking Pilot, powered by Bluetooth between the car and your smartphone.

Watch the video below to see the Remote Parking Pilot in action:

Free airport parking…

…is unheard of. Parking at airports can be costly and, frankly, the money would be better spent on your holiday. What if there was a way to get free airport parking and make money too?

BeeRides has found a possible solution by renting your car out while you’re away, meaning you will no longer need to pay the parking and will earn some money instead. Trust is obviously an issue, but your car will automatically be insured when being used by the borrower.

BeeRides is already up and running in Budapest, and was a Techstars winner at Ford’s SYNC AppLink Mobility Challenge.

Car park

A ‘lawyer robot’ to help you appeal parking tickets

Parking tickets are everyone’s worst nightmare, especially if you feel that one has been issued unfairly.

Earlier this year a student designed a so-called ‘lawyer robot’ on the website donotpay.co.uk, in which anyone can generate legally sound documents to achieve a successful appeal.

This service is already in use in the UK and is believed to have saved around £3 million in the space of five months.

Joshua Browder, a student at Stanford University in California, designed the app after he received some parking tickets he felt were issued unfairly when he turned 18 and had started driving.

Do Not Pay

[Read more: How to use the Google Maps parking feature]