You are shopping when you receive a text message on your mobile phone. It is from the parking meter to tell you that you have been given a fine.
The meters create magnetic fields capable of registering the metal mass of vehicles. They have a direct computer link to a police station.
Under a mechanism adopted by towns such as Issy-les-Moulineaux on the outskirts of Paris, cars are allowed 20 minutes of free parking. If they stay longer, the smart meter sends a message to a police control room, which alerts officers through their mobile telephones a quarter of an hour later.
"That way police and wardens don't have to spend the day walking up and down the road," said Mr Zandona, who said he wanted to introduce the technology to Britain and a number of other countries.
"The police can go and sit in a café if they like and just pop out when they get a message to say a car is parked illegally. They have an 80 per cent chance of finding the car still there between 12 and 18 minutes after the limit, we have found. That's why we warn them after 15 minutes."