Automated parking systems have been around for a few years now and the designs for these ingenious upgrades to the traditional parking garage further the appeal and demand, especially in Europe. As these designs become more popular and easily applicable, their widespread use will become more prevalent. These unique automated parking lot designs have earned themselves tourist status as their features and exterior design make them truly memorable.
The CarTowers at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany is a 20 story tall car storage tower. While at capacity it holds nearly 800 cars, the tower is not a public lot unfortunately but is instead used as a holding spot for the Volkswagen dealer that owns it. While not public, the CarTowers are commonly cited and used to illustrate the potential for public parking garages of the future. The CarTower land footprint is significantly smaller than any parking garage of similar capacity by a margin of over 60%.
The world's largest automated parking system is built in Dubai in the heart of the Business Bay. The automated system features 12 carports, and 26 independent car movers within the building. 15 stories into the sky, and 5 stories below ground, the parking system has a max capacity of over 1200 cars. From the exterior, the building looks like a beautiful office building, but the interior features a unique and seemingly complex parking system. A comparable traditional parking system would consume nearly two-times as much land as the Skypark Dubai does.
Edinburgh, Scotland is home to a beautiful automated parking system called the AutoSafe. It was originally designed to house 300 cars as a traditional car park, but with the efficiencies of automated parking systems, the plan was updated and now houses over 600 cars. This same efficiency also allowed the developer to create additional office space above the parking system. In total, 54,000 square feet of very high value office area was built thanks to the reduced size requirements and improved efficiency that a robotic parking system provided.
A unique parking lot design in Penang, Malaysia demonstrated the Greener side of automated parking systems. The Prime Plaza can house a maximum of 104 cars and was designed with Green technology in mind. The unique design produces zero greenhouse gases nor any automotive emissions. Because the facility runs on energy efficient, state of the art, low power consuming products, the buildings operating costs are significantly less than any comparable traditional parking garage.
There are many other examples of unique automated parking lot designs being developed around the world. Currently the majority of these projects exist in Europe and Asia though and only now has automated parking begun to be developed in North America. The first North American companies to commission a unique automated parking lot design may just earn themselves a tourist attractive building.