The average driver spends more than a day of each year trying to find a space to park.

Clearly that's not a plus about life on our jam-packed streets.

But Ford reckons its research marks a breakthrough, via technology that could banish the butt-ache of loitering for a slot.

Perhaps promisingly, Ford has been trialling the technology in the town designed for driving: Milton Keynes. And while your quest for a space can be a trigger for road rage, the new system is promising to reverse the issue under the slogan of "collaborative parking".

Christian Ress, from Ford Research and Advanced Engineering told Avon Tuning: "With our research, we see an opportunity to hand that time back to drivers, helping them enjoy happier, healthier and more efficient journeys."

With the Ford tech on board, you'll see a crowd-sourced map on your dashboard screen which flags up any free spaces, in real time. So how does it work?

"Collaborative parking is powered by data from the parking sensors of vehicles using the car park. This informs the map that shows which spaces may be free," Christian says. The map can also feed from data from the car parks' own monitoring systems.

Ford is among project partners to have developed the tech and other vehicle infrastructure technologies as part of the UK Autodrive project, a £20m government-sponsored programme that takes self-driving and connected-car technologies from the test track to the streets.

Other facets of Ford's work within the scheme include systems that warn you when emergency services vehicles need to overtake, and when cars unseen - perhaps hidden by a bend in the road ahead - brake suddenly.