The cities are getting fuller and more crowded than ever before. Driving a car in in a big city always taxes the driver´s patience. It is even getting worse when you try to find a parking lot. Without a reserved parking lot or paying high parking charges it is really hard to find spaces within a city. But how should this problem be solved in future? Some logistic engineers seem to have an appropriate solution.
Thanks to demographic trends, more and more people push into big cities, many cities already don´t have enough capacities to handle the high amount of traffic. Every square meter has to be used in a useful and well planned manner. To meet higher traffic emerge, especially private cars, solutions have to be found. Space is rare so how to built a parking deck with the highest efficiency? Okay, first of all, you have to go up high! The more levels, the higher the land utilization. But still, parking decks need lots of space, and many collisions happen because of narrow gateways.
Engineers have found a solution how increase land utilization. These days machines work more precise and more efficient than human beings. So it is reasonable to remove the driver and passengers from of the car, before parking it. An Automated parking system (APS) is the solution. In the field of logistics, automated warehousing is common practice, so why not applying this efficient technology to our daily life?
Using the APS is like robotic valet parking. The driver has to drive the car into the entry area of the APS, where he and all passengers leave the car. Nearby will be an automated terminal for payment and receipt of the ticket. When all persons have left the entry area, a special mechanic system will lift the car and “park” it at a predetermined parking space in the system. To retrieve a car, the driver has just to insert his ticket at the automated terminal. The system will lift the car from its parking space and deliver it at an exit area.
The main advantage of automated parking systems is saving space by significantly reducing it:
- Parking space width and depth (and distances between parking spaces) are dramatically reduced since no allowance need be made for driving the car into the parking space or for the opening of car doors (for drivers and passengers)
- No driving lanes or ramps are needed to drive the car to/from the entrance/exit to a parking space
- Ceiling height is minimized since there is no pedestrian traffic (drivers and passengers) in the parking area, and
- No walkways, stairways or elevators are needed to accommodate pedestrians in the parking area.
Due to the mentioned reductions the APS needs substantially less structural material than the multi-story parking garage. A space saving steel framework is the base of the APS which contributes to an overall volume reduction.
Additionally to the efficient use of space, there are more benefits: As there is no public access to the parking areas, the cars are more secure. Damages on the car like scratches and dents from the parking activity are eliminated. It is also safer for driver and passengers, which do not have to walk through the parking-areas. Engine emissions are reduced, because driving through the parking garage to find a spot is not required anymore.
This is how we will probably park our cars in future, no more driving around in multi-story parking garages to find a spot!