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According to the Houston Chronicle, the Railway Heights project which is turning an industrial warehouse into a food hall and retail shopping experience is also getting the largest automated parking garage in the United States. The robot-aided garage is scheduled to open in 2020. "The idea behind this is a valet experience without the valet," said Yair Goldberg, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Unitronics - the maker of the system, "The only interface the driver has with the system is through the entry compartment, which is the size of a two-car garage." The driver pulls into a parking bay and starts the process through an app or a ticket. A system of horizontal and vertical lifts sends the car off to it's parking spot.

Taking out the human element allows more cars to be stored in smaller spaces -- sometimes a third of what would be required in a traditional garage, Goldberg said. Based in New Jersey, U-tron, the automated parking division of Unitronics, has 6 systems in operation in Los Angeles, New York and New Jersey and 20 projects in the works, including two in Houston.

"U-tron's automated parking design enables us to develop and optimize both the commercial and residential aspects of our developments, while improving the return on investment and delivering a first-in-class parking experience" Jesse Levine, of Easy Park, the development company behind the projects, said in a statement.

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