- James Noblitt
Parking Innovations - Part 2
As technology continues to create things that usually only existed in sci-fi movies, we turn to the Middle East to further explore innovations made in parking. Recently, the Robotic Parking System opened the “first high-speed automated parking for 765 cars.” The process seems quite futuristic, you drive up to the parking garage and in to the parking terminal. After exiting your vehicle, you take a parking card, like parking garages in the US today, however, what happens next differs from the usual. According to Robotic Parking Systems, “The car is picked up by the computerized machinery and lifts that will safely place it inside the building on a shelving system. The automated parking garage at Ibn Battuta Gate handles 250 cars per hour with up to 32 cars in motion at any one time.” This process ensures optimal convenience, taking out the extra time someone usual spends searching for a parking spot.
The retrieval of your vehicle takes place in a similarly process, with a purpose of eliminating any inconvenience or wait time. You enter a lobby area and enter your ticket in a kiosk. After that, you wait for your vehicle to be moved to an exit terminal. “Screens display the exit terminal where the car can be retrieved. The Robotic Parking System swiftly delivers the car in 3 minutes or less.” After the retrieval, you get into your vehicle and drive away. This fully automated parking garage presents an interesting route for the future of parking. Vending machine type parking garages are not the only direction parking is veering towards regarding automation. Ryan Citron from Forbes Magazine discusses his idea that “the future of smart parking is integration with automated technology.” As discussed in our previous blog, Autonomous Driving, is well on its way. Ryan believes that there is more than one way that this technology is going to find itself integrated within parking. On one hand, within “Boulder, Colorado, ParkPlus is working on deploying a fully automated parking garage,” Similar to the automated car implemented within the Middle East, this garage uses a “robotic dolly that lifts and transfers them to storage racks” that takes from three to five minutes and increase the amount of cars that can be parked by four times the original amount due to no longer needing ramps. This, however, is not the only route that is being taken to improve parking with automation. Ryan reports that “Somerville, Massachusetts has partnered with global automaker Audi to develop self-driving and self-parking cars.” This idea has three phases, starting with the first in 2018 where Audi hopes to incorporate “piloted parking technology” to “test self-parking capabilities with a specialized nearby parking garage.” Like the automated garage, this idea involves dropping off one’s vehicle and letting it park on its own, eliminated the time normally spent searching for a spot. The next two phases in this innovation are scheduled to take place in 2020, with a “deployment of a full fleet of self-parking Audi cars,” and in 2030, with the self-parking garage targeting availability to the broader AV market.” This process also takes away unneeded space within the garage, allowing for more vehicles to be parked. While this technology may seem futuristic and far off from where parking is today, the innovations mentioned in the previous blog regarding the smart sensors and other parking innovations demonstrate that, regardless of which route is taken, the technology for automated parking is well on its way.
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The Vark Team