A SMART car parking app or sign that charges drivers more when pollution levels peak could create cleaner and sustainable cities fit for the future, says the founder of a local tech firm.

Chipside Ltd, based just outside Swindon in Brinkworth, provides digital parking permits for some two million drivers and works with half the UK’s local authorities through platforms such as MiPermit and Oppidatim.

It is currently working on a method of introducing dynamic pricing which can nudge drivers to go to other car parks or routes to areas where they won’t tip the pollution levels over safe legal limits.

CEO Paul Moorby, who founded Chipside in 2003, told the Adver he was researching ways to create smarter parking and traffic management systems, relying on large amounts of live data, to create cleaner and healthier cities and towns.

He said: “Dynamic pricing is just one tool to say to drivers don’t travel into the centre of, for example in Swindon, that one vehicle will trip Swindon over the pollution limits and as a result air quality will fall and calls on the NHS will rise.”

Easily ignored parking signs could be replaced with an app or even through a car’s inboard computer.

Paul added: “Connected cars are here right now. The ultimate evolution is a method of traffic control for towns and cities which will control a connected car, and a city potentially could have the right to turn your engine off.”

The importance of solving this will get even more pressing as people increasingly rely on cars.

He explained:“By 2050 the UN is predicting the world will have 10 billion citizens, so I asked how are we going to evolve smarter cities to cope with that influx of three billion extra cars in the world.

“The alternative is that three billion people can’t have a car, and then that has got the implications for social mobility.”

The company was decorated with a Queens Award for Enterprise 2019, one of the highest royal awards for business, alongside 201 companies this month.

Paul picked up an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list for promoting the UK technology sector abroad.