These systems have the added advantage of eliminating the need for the driver to maneuver into and out of a parking space.
New Jersey, USA
A robotic parking system opened at the Hoboken Garden Street Garage in October 2002. This garage, designed for local residents, is seven stories high and accommodates 312 cars. When a driver enters that garage, a sensor detects their access card (similar to an automatic vehicle identification card) and signals to the computer that a driver is approaching. The driver proceeds into the open bay, gets out of their car, and pushes a button to instigate the automated parking process. Once the driver has left their vehicle, an integrated motion control system takes over, managing 35 independently operating robots that transport the vehicle from the entrance bay into an open parking space. Here is a detailed description of the automated parking process from Road Traffic Technology: Industry Projects
The central computer system guides a carrier on steel rails along an open aisle-way to a position adjacent to the arrival station and the pallet. An additional rack entry module moves above the upper surface of the carrier and is inserted beneath the pallet; the pallet and the vehicle are then transferred to the carrier. Under the direction of the computer, the carrier (with the pallet and the vehicle inside) is moved from the arrival station to a multilevel lifting device; the pallet and the vehicle are then transferred to the lift. When the lift reaches the designated parking level, the pallet and the vehicle are transferred to another carrier. This carrier transports the pallet and the vehicle to the designated parking slot. Lastly, the pallet and the vehicle are transferred into the parking slot by the rack entry module. This system design enables multiple independent motions simultaneously thus dramatically increasing reliability and speed of transactions.
Click here for pictures of robotic parking in Hoboken.
Vancouver, British Columbia
The system used in Vancouver is for a lot of 33 feet wide, which is not sufficient for underground parking. A north Vancouver firm designed and built an electro-mechanical, computer-controlled system.
A description of the system by Douglas Yip (1996):
"After obtaining security clearance to enter the building, the driver is directed to park in a designated area. The parking system monitors the vehicle position via an array of photo-electric sensors and uses a display monitor to provide information to the driver. After the vehicle is successfully parked, the driver and all occupants are directed to exit the parking area. A color graphics touchscreen is used by the driver to interact with the system. Before starting vehicle storage, the parking systems closes the overhead door and secures the area. The vehicle is lowered to the second parking level where it is rotated 180 degrees, translated sideways to the appropriate storage bay and pushed into a storage bay. To retrieve a vehicle, the driver simply selects the vehicle to be retrieved via the touchscreen terminal. The system automatically retrieves the vehicle and presents it ready to drive out."
This system has the following components: pallets and storage bays, lift, turntable, vehicle transport assembly, standby operation, electrical description, motion control, host computer, control logic and an operator interface.