An Automated Parking System or APS is a mechanical system that automatically moves cars from the car park entry to an available parking space. It uses multiple levels and stacks cars vertically to use the least square footage possible in order to park as many cars as possible. The earliest use of an APS was in Paris, France in 1905 at the Garage Rue de Ponthieu. The APS consisted of a multi-story concrete structure with an internal elevator to transport cars to upper levels where attendants parked the cars.
APS has come a long way since then, and the terminology used to describe such systems includes:
- Mechanical Parking System
- Robotic Parking System
- Rotary Parking System
- Automatic Parking
- Stacker Parking
Automatic parking systems are uniquely space efficient. The cars are stacked into snug compartments using a robotic arm, platforms or lift systems and due to the absence of passengers the parking space doesn’t have to be as wide as in a conventional parking lot. There’s no need for ramps, pedestrian footpaths, staircases or walkways.
Fully Automated vs Semi Automated
There are advantages to both. Fully Automated Parking Systems offer quite simply a robotic form of valet parking. The car is driven into a transfer area, and then all passengers exit the vehicle. A ticket is issued to the driver and the car is whisked away into the parking space by varied combinations of a turntable, robotic arm, platforms or lifts. The car is automatically retrieved using the ticket and upon return is placed facing the exit for effective and efficient departure.
A Semi Automated Parking System uses a mechanical system to move cars to their parking space, only it needs a human action to work, either by the driver or an attendant. This action can be as simple as pushing a button.
Advantages of the APS
Advantages for customers:
- No need to search for available parking spaces
- No need to walk through the parking garage
- Time saving
- Provides a consistent parking experience
- Your car is parked safe and secure (no worry about theft / damage)
- Dings and scrapes to cars are eliminated
Advantages for municipalities / property owners:
- Space efficiency
- Environmentally friendly
- Visual impact minimised
- Increases public safety
- No people inside means no litter / fights / accidents / etc.
- No pedestrian signage, lighting, walkways required
- Handicap access is improved
- No internal ventilation system required
- Staff costs are massively reduced
- Shorter construction time
Automatic Parking Systems are most definitely the way of the future for car parks located in high density areas. We’re looking forward to witnessing innovative jumps from Business members such as Otto Wöhr, Serva and Skyline Parking in the application of not only mechanical but also wireless and smart technology in the field of Automatic Parking Systems, onwards and upwards (literally!!)