Posted on February 15th, 2013 by I-95, U-405

Imagine an end to endless cruising around parking lots for a parking space. No more drivers going against traffic in an attempt to snag a parking space. No more drivers dinging your doors when they get in their own cars. AutoParkIt is the first fully automated parking facility that is making it’s debut in–where else?–Los Angeles in a high end apartment building in Sherman Oaks. In a strategic partnership with Dasher Lawless, Omron Automation & Safety, Design Systems Inc., SEW Eurodrive, ConXtech and others, AutoParkIt facilities are different from other semi-automatic facilities that exist in Asia and Europe in that they are completely operator-free, fully automated, and scalable for malls, office parks, or college campuses.

Drivers enter the facility through a traditional garage door, turn off their car, walk a few short steps to a kiosk, wave their key fob, and their car is safely whisked away by the industrial proven, commercially adapted high tech system. It’s like Tony Stark shedding his Iron Man suit that gets whisked away to someplace safe and secure. Getting your car back is just as easy: a wave of the key fob at an HID reader on any floor of the building initiates the process, and approximately a minute later the car is delivered nose out ready to drive away. Hell, it often takes more than a minute just to walk through a parking structure to find your car. How this system handles during rush hour when dozens of people in the same structure are trying to get their cars remains to be seen, but I’m excited to see this system in action when it debuts next Thursday.

And as someone who cares about the environment, because cars are not driven in the system, automobile emissions and gasoline usage are significantly diminished. Additionally, 24-hour ventilation and security lighting are no longer necessary because people are not in the system. This diminishes ongoing energy consumption by as much as half, further decreasing operating costs and increasing energy savings.

Now granted, if you’re at the mall with two screaming kids who want to go on that damn carousel near Target (I’m talking Woodland Hills here) and you forget something in your car, waiting a minute for the car to park and then a minute for it to get retrieved so you can get the wet wipes from the trunk may seem like an eternity. But the system as it stands seems very promising and appears to solve more problems than it creates.

L.A. Can’t Drive


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