As more homeowners move into urban areas and space decreases for large parking lots, owning a car seems like it's becoming more of a hassle than ever for buyers in dense areas or infill condos and homes. But now finding parking spaces is becoming easier with new technology, according to Curbed, and fully automated parking garages are on the rise.
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. 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 car wash. 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 takes less than two minutes after inserting the ticket.