Thread Number: 71805  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
The newest way to park your car on the West Coast....
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Post# 949873   7/24/2017 at 17:15 by RevvinKevin (Between Mickey Mouse & the Queen Mary (So. Cal.)        

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A 100% fully automated parking garage!


While there are 14 other fully automated parking garages in the U.S., this is the first one on the West Coast!  "We" are are way behind the technology curve however, as there are 500 of these automated garages in Europe and thousands of them in Japan. 


Saturday night we went to West Hollywood to have dinner and see a play.  Our friend who organized the group mentioned this as one of the options for parking and I HAD to go check it out! 


The space where this 4 story building now stands WAS a flat parking lot with 66 spaces. This new building has 200 spaces and uses only half the land required for a "regular" 200 space parking structure with ramps.  Plus it's more "green" without the air pollution from people driving around looking for a parking spaces.



1: Best looking parking structure I've seen!

2: How many empty spaces are available.

3: Pull up to one of the bay doors with a green arrow.

4 & 5: After the door opens, drive in and follow directions on monitor, stop, turn our car off, get out and lock your doors.

6: Watch your car move up or down through the windows out front.

7: Insert your ticket and pay to retrieve your ca.

8: 2-3 minutes later the door opens and your car is facing out, ready to drive away!

9: The obligatory "night" shot, LOL.


A really neat experience and at a reasonable cost too!  For the 4.5 hours I was parked there, it was only $7.   This is SO frikkin cool!!


The link below is a 3 minute video that shows what happens inside the building after the door closes.




  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 9         View Full Size

Post# 949876 , Reply# 1   7/24/2017 at 17:19 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Soon we will have to do nothing but think about what we used to do.

Post# 949879 , Reply# 2   7/24/2017 at 17:43 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I saw an old movie on TCM a while ago that was made in 1955. Kim Kovak and Ralph Meeker were in it and it was supposed to be in Reno, NV. The hotel were they parked their car had a set up something like this where they drove the car onto a lift and it was sent up several stories where it was parked. Of course it was not a technologically advanced as this one, but the idea had been around for a while. Seems like a very good way to design a parking garage to me. Thanks for sharing this Kevin,

Post# 949890 , Reply# 3   7/24/2017 at 18:41 by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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I wonder if there's some kind of security system/camera built in to detect if someone was in the vehicle and prevent the system from parking the vehicle?

Post# 949895 , Reply# 4   7/24/2017 at 19:50 by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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That is very kewl. I've never heard of an automated parking garage before.


Post# 949909 , Reply# 5   7/24/2017 at 22:00 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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What a neat experience!  I've not seen any of these facilities - thanks for sharing.



Post# 949933 , Reply# 6   7/25/2017 at 05:37 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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O.K., I'll say it: I love the 21st century!

Thanks for sharing your high-tech parking experience with us, Kevin.

Post# 949934 , Reply# 7   7/25/2017 at 06:19 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

The video of the automated parking garage-very interesting and clever.An attraction in itself.Will be a LONG time before such a thing shows up here in Greenville-can't imagine how much a facility like that would cost!If its in Hollywood-they can sure afford it.A question--how are cars retrieved if there is a power failure-does the place have a backup genset?

Post# 949936 , Reply# 8   7/25/2017 at 06:20 by foraloysius (Groningen, the Netherlands)        

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Thanks for sharing. In Europe we need to use our space effecient sometimes. These garages don't need the space for cars to drive around. These excist in many sizes for all kind of situations.

Now we're talking parking, I saw this recently. The owner wanted to convert an old house into a garage but didn't get permission for it because it's in an old village and they're all protected monuments. He solved the problem in quite a unique way.

Post# 949976 , Reply# 9   7/25/2017 at 10:54 by RevvinKevin (Between Mickey Mouse & the Queen Mary (So. Cal.)        

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You're quite welcome, I'm happy I'm able to share this experience with you all!


Eddie: Sounds like what you saw in the movie was just an elevator system, i.e. drive the car on, ride the elevator up, drive the car off and then park it.  From what I was reading, these 100% fully automated robotic parking systems have only been around the last 25 years or so.  Other parking solutions like elevators or ferris wheel type parking arrangement has been around much longer.  


Ken: What I read about this is, yes, there are multiple video cameras, infrared and other sensors which work in unison for vehicle alignment as you drive in, as well as to confirm everyone is out of the vehicle before it moves the car from the bay.


Rex: Yes the facility has an emergency generator, as well as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for the computer systems.  They installed solar panels on the roof so they're not so dependent on the power company.  There is also built in redundancy in all the mechanical systems, i.e. two motors when it only needs one, should one fail, etc.   True it wasn't "cheap" to build, but it did cost $1M less than an equivalent size "normal" parking structure with drive up ramps. 


Louis: That guy making a garage in a house, VERY cleaver and very well camouflaged!  Thanks for posting!


These systems are designed for dense urban or city areas where a lot of parking is needed, but little space is available.  So I'm pretty sure you won't be seeing anything like this out in the middle of farm country, LOL.






This post was last edited 07/25/2017 at 16:22
Post# 949995 , Reply# 10   7/25/2017 at 11:47 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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There was a humorous satire in MAD Magazine on all these parking solutions, and you know what? A reader actually got a rotating lazy Susan to work, submitting a picture that he sent in with his letter o fit, that was actually in use...

I think that this vertical arrangement (that is much like my Matchbox service station/parking garage that I used to have) is also one idea that is also universally used, too...

'Course that is a lot of hydraulic fluid, too!

-- Dave

Post# 950000 , Reply# 11   7/25/2017 at 12:28 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

The Carew Tower (built 1930) in Cincinnati originally had an automated parking garage. However, it was designed for cars of that time and soon became outdated, and the equipment could not accommodate newer vehicles. Most of it sat unused for many years. Sometime in the late 80's, the parking tower was shortened from 28 floors to only 8, as the upper portion had suffered extensive structural damage from leaks. Link has details on the hotel portion of the complex.

At one time I saw another garage building somewhere north of Seventh St. that was supposed to be automated. I think construction started sometime in the early 60's, and I don't think it ever opened. It was torn down some time ago.


Post# 950001 , Reply# 12   7/25/2017 at 12:31 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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the Kim Kovak movie I'm referring to was "Five Against the House", and it wasn't Ralph Meeker, but Guy Madison and Brian Keith who were her male co stars. The parking garage was in Harolds Club in Reno. If I recall correctly the parking attendant drove their car onto the lift, I beleive it was a 53 or 54 Lincoln Capri Convertible. Anyway the lift took the car up several stories, then moved it over laterally to the next available space. No one rode up in the car. Then when they came back to get the car somehow the system knew what space the car was "filed"in and they retrieved it mechanically. It really was mesmerizing, especially when you figure that this was 1955!

Look at the attached link at about the 2 min mark.


This post was last edited 07/25/2017 at 13:19
Post# 950013 , Reply# 13   7/25/2017 at 14:16 by RevvinKevin (Between Mickey Mouse & the Queen Mary (So. Cal.)        

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Eddie: That IS a really interesting system in that movie, it's semi-automated as you can see the operator standing on the elevator platform controlling it.  Definitely futuristic technology for the time!  Thanks for the link!   


Excerpts from Wikipedia...


The earliest use of an automated parking system (APS) was in Paris, France in 1905.


In the 1920', Ferris-wheel like APS became popular as it could park eight cars in the ground space normally used for two cars.


The first driverless parking garage opened in 1951 in Washington D.C., but was replaced with office space due to increasing land values.


APS saw a spurt of interest in the U.S. in the late 1940s and 1950s.  However, interest in the U.S. waned due to frequent mechanical problems and long waiting times to retrieve cars.  Interest in the U.S. languished until the 1990s. 


Fully automated parking systems operate much like robotic valet parking.  Semi-automated parking systems also use a mechanical system to move a car to its parking space, however operation of the system requires action by an attendant or the driver.


Here's a video from 8 years ago showing an interesting parking system in Japan.  While not automated, it is interesting!


This one is an underground automated system in China.


This post was last edited 07/25/2017 at 16:24
Post# 950024 , Reply# 14   7/25/2017 at 16:13 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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those videos of the Japanese and Chinese automated parking garages are way cool, thanks for sharing them. You know, now that I think of it I have also seen another old movie from the 30's with a system similar to the one in the video I posted from the 1955 movie. This other movie was a Warner Bros.picture that starred James Cagney, but for the life of me I can't recall the title. But its clear from the info you've posted on the history of this technology that its been around for a while.

Really, all multi level parking garages would benefit from this technology. There is nothing worse than circling around a parking garage endlessly looking for an open space. And they put the spaces so close together now that it can be very difficult to get your car in and out of these tight spaces, especially if the vehicle on either side of your space is some huge SUV or truck.

Post# 950095 , Reply# 15   7/26/2017 at 02:29 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Kevin-Nice that the garage system doesn't rely on commercial power.And the cost wasn't as high as I imagined.In my area-yes its farm country-tobacco,soybeans,cotton,and peanuts.Not enough population here for such a garage.And most of the business here is not downtown.At best a parking facility for the ECU staff and students.

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