Photo courtesy of NYPD.

Photo courtesy of NYPD.

The New York Police Department has begun using Smart cars for parking enforcement in the five boroughs and patrol in Central Park as a possible replacement for existing three-wheel scooters.

As part of a pilot program, the NYPD purchased nine Smart Fortwo cars earlier this month and assigned them to the Central Park Precinct, Parking Enforcement division, School Safety divisions, and each of the five boroughs, the NYPD announced.

The cars, which cost $119,000, are safer than the scooters and offer air bags and air conditioning. A Smart car costs about half the price of a scooter. The NYPD could purchase as many as 100 Smart cars to swap out the aging scooters, reports the New York Daily News.

The Daimler-produced Smart cars have good crash test ratings and offer anti-lock braking, side knee-bolsters and window-curtain air bags. The Smart car has earned a rating as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle and averages 34 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 34 mpg combined.