I refuse to have an automated Garage and a Self driving car. A Garage is a men,s last Cave not to mess with.
As Americans move back toward urban centers, land prices are soaring, walkability is a buzzword for seemingly every neighborhood and development, and big, sprawling parking lots are taboo. And while cars are going to be the way to get around for the foreseeable future, trolling for spots in cramped, labyrinthine multistory parking garages is a dreadful experience. But technology presents a solution.
No, it's not self-driving cars—at least not yet. Instead it's fully automated parking garages that know where the open spaces are, and have equipment that gingerly and precisely places your vehicle in one.
Right now in the U.S., 22 garages already are using automated systems to store and retrieve vehicles, and it's starting to scale up. Ground is breaking soon on a parking structure for a mixed-use development in Oakland, California, and it is claimed to be the newest such fully automated structure in the San Francisco Bay Area—and one of relatively few to allow public access (it will be visitor parking) and to be unmanned. The structure's footprint is just 1600 square feet, the size required by seven surface-parking spots, yet it has 39 parking spaces over seven levels.
What it amounts to is virtually a dumbwaiter for cars. You drive the vehicle past a height sensor, then through a garage doorway and onto a platform—which itself is on what look like the tracks you'd find at an automatic carwash. Following instructions on a screen, you exit your vehicle, and visit a kiosk to get a ticket that you use to retrieve the vehicle upon your return. The system rotates the vehicle, loads it onto an elevator, and then stores it away on the appropriate shelf, potentially several stories up or down in a narrow-footprint building.
Retrieval, according to CityLift, the company behind the development, takes less than two minutes after inserting the ticket. And the builders say that electric-vehicle charging also will be available—although it's unclear how that might work on an automated basis (outside of an inductive/wireless charging solution).
With the entire process mechanized and automated, vehicles will be "delivered" back to the receiving area with zero miles added, no greasy fingerprints, and no burnout videos starring your vehicle. Now that's the kind of urban renewal we can get behind.