The Compact Trend
There are trends in society that show consumers prefer everything to be as compact as possible. Cell phones are smaller and more powerful than ever before. Cars are becoming more compact and fuel efficient as fuel prices continue to soar. Gadgets and everyday items are all becoming more compact while doing more than ever before. We all want functionality in a small package.
This trend towards powerful compactness is also evident in the parking industry. There are new and innovative parking systems that improve on older parking methods while conserving a great deal of space in the process. The "do more with less” concept is in full display with these parking systems as more vehicles than ever before can be parked in less physical space.
The larger volume parking systems are also called "automatic parking garages” for their ability to hold comparable volumes of vehicles as traditional parking garages while offering levels of automation with the parking process. The systems are designed to make the parking experience much more enjoyable by removing many of the frustrations that are frequently encountered with normal parking garages.
The Benefits of Automatic Parking Garages
Automatic parking garages usually involve driving a vehicle to a central loading area, pulling the vehicle straight into a loading platform and exiting from the vehicle. From there, the rest of the parking process is automated via hydraulic motors and computer programs that park the vehicle by moving the platform sideways, up or down to the best available parking slot.
The use of a centralized "loading area” means that the major frustration of driving around a parking garage for an indefinite amount of time looking for a space is effectively eliminated. This also greatly reduces air pollution due to reduced driving and idling by vehicles. Vehicle retrieval times are also usually very low, typically approximately one minute or less.
Vehicle safety is increased with the use of these systems due to the convenience of being able to pull straight into the loading area and then pulling straight out when exiting. In some cases there is even the ability to turn the vehicle around while retrieving it. The fender benders that can result from navigating the narrow turning lanes and as a result of interacting with other drivers in a parking garage are no longer a concern. The compact design also greatly enhances the security of the vehicles while they are parked —there is less of a chance of being hit and having your car stolen or vandalized.
These parking systems are typically more cost-effective to implement based on:
Actual cost of the parking system
Minimal need for excavation (if at all)
Reduced need for staff
Easier system maintenance
The Uses of Automatic Parking Garages
Innovative designs help these types of automatic garage systems to be implemented in many different types of scenarios. The amount of space they are able to save makes them highly sought after for applications such as:
In some cases the amount of space these solutions can save makes it possible to add another unit to a building. Not only do these systems save money, but they can also help generate more revenue.