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Robot, Take It Down to Chinatown: Automated Parking Lot Opens in New York

Illustration for article titled Robot, Take It Down to Chinatown: Automated Parking Lot Opens in New York

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Well-heeled, dim sum loving car owners in New York will be among the first in the world to have robots park their cars. This month, the city's first robotic parking garage will open in Chinatown. As the Washington Post points out, the only other such garage in the US has been plagued with problems like trapped vehicles, dropped cars, and cyborg attacks on government facilities (best two out of three). Developers say the automated system allows a better use of space — 67 cars in a garage that formerly held 24. The only humans on hand will be collecting cash, because you just can't trust those robot bastards with money.


Robot Parking Garage to Open in New York [The Washington Post]

Robot, You Can Park My Car: High-Tech Parking Systems Gain Visibility in the US [internal]


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They can speed that up by having multiple entry/exit bays (and probably do). The Japanese ones are dead simple, at least the ones I've seen. Basically, you drive into a barely-big-enough gondola/pallet, and it gets shuffled around just like a ferris wheel — although more like a motorcycle chain since it's obviously not a big circle.

My guesses for why these things don't exist in NYC: 1. The carousels' maximum vehicle size is only our 15th percentile. 2. Real estate in NYC is actually still cheap enough that all you need is a surface lot and a bunch of those 2-3 level hydaulic parking stackers.

But hey, there might be a market for them if they were large enough for every Mercedes-Benz currently in production. (Err, commercial vehicles excluded.)