News and Reviews

The Vehicle Vending Machine: Car Parks of the Future

October, 2013

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Imagine a parking garage that parks your car, finds your car, saves on pollution, takes up half the space, and does it all without an iota of human interaction. The menace that steals your spot, cuts you off, or honks his horn excessively – a thing of the past.

Image source: Jeffrey M. Hyde, Design Director of Automotion

Automotion Parking Systems are pioneering automated garages that do all of the above. There are automated new car garages being built or in operation in Brooklyn and New York right now – with future projects on the horizon.

How it Works

Popular Mechanic describes how the AutoMotion parking garage functions:

“Connected to a quartet of laser guidance sensors, the monitor will help you position your vehicle on a pallet in the floor with tire-width ruts: MOVE TO THE LEFT, INCH FORWARD. (The mirror provides a visual assist.) After you set the parking brake and turn off and exit the vehicle, the screen will then walk you through a series of safety questions to ensure that you’ve closed your doors, removed your valuables, and verified the departure of all occupants (motion detectors confirm this last bit). As you exit the room to collect your retrieval receipt, a metal gate will roll down behind you, and your vehicle will, without a solitary human interaction, vanish into subterranean mystery.”

The Benefits of Automated Parking

There are a number of real benefits of automating parking garages (road rage and laziness aside). By eliminating the need to drive in circles in search of a free spot, the produced fuel pollution is eliminated too. When we’re talking about thousands of big fuel-guzzling family cars and second hand cars spouting pollution in an enclosed space, this means a huge reduction in pollution, which usually would have required massive air conditioning systems to suck up the pollution and spit it out somewhere else. The automated garages also save on space, occupying double the amount of cars compared to a traditional garage. That’s two big pluses for the environment.

Projects Down Under

From the other side of the world, drivers down under are seeing similar technologies pop up. There is an automated parking garage in Sydney Australia, run by Apex Sky Park. A number of automated parking manufacturers are also expanding with Australian branches. It might be a long time before the traditional parking boxes are made completely redundant. Until then – we might just have to grin and bear the parking lot menace.

What do you prefer – valet or vending machine? 

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