New York City officials are hoping to replace traditional quarter- fueled parking meters with a state- of the- art- parking system where sensors will track available spaces and cell phones will be used to pay for them.

The process is in a very preliminary stage as the city looks towards outside private companies to fund this make-over and reap a share of the rewards, the City Hall News reports.

It is unclear if any partnership will be executed, but if one is we will ensure that the city remains in control of core elements like the cost of city services, said City Hall Spokesperson Julie Wood.

The statement comes after Midtown and Downtown Manhattan were placed the costliest for parking in the US by The Colliers International annual survey of parking rates in North America, with median monthly rates at $ 541-$533.

Administration officials say New York would never give up its control over parking policy and meter rates, but are proceeding cautiously according to City Hall News. Increasing the cost of parking poses a political risk of unpopularity, but if private companies offer the services someone else would be taking the risk, city officials say.