An automated parking system is a complex mechanical system specifically designed to minimize the space and mass required for parking vehicles. Like a multi-level parking garage, an APS gives parking two cars on multiple levels stacked tightly to maximize the available space while minimizing total land use. However, as opposed to traditional parking garages, automated parking systems can be put in place before the building and subsequently operated manually or electronically, depending on the establishment’s specific needs. The number of automated parking systems can also vary greatly, from those that offer a limited number of car spaces to those offering unlimited car spaces.
Generally, an automated parking system involves one or more automated vehicles per level. It is commonly composed of elevators or shuttle buses. Elevators are used to transport people from the top levels to the lower levels, whereas shuttle buses are used to take people from one level to another within the complex. Based on the needs of the business, the size and type of vehicle to be driven, and the amount of space available, the choice of elevator or shuttle bus service may differ.
In terms of design, the manufacturers usually contract out the creation of these systems. However, some independent contractors specialize in designing and constructing these systems. There are a number of advantages to opting for this approach. The installation process can be delayed up to several months if the chosen manufacturer cannot fulfill the project’s requirements. Most software programs are designed specifically for the installation process of these intelligent parking solutions.
A typical automated parking structure uses biometric scanners to verify an individual’s identity. In addition, a touch screen system located on the vehicle’s dashboard collects and transmits information regarding the current location of the vehicle and other pertinent data regarding the parking space. Biometrics, which include fingerprints, face recognition, handprints, and even voice accents, are processed by electronic devices to determine whether or not the individual is authorized to be parked in a specific space. For mixed-use areas, such as commercial spaces, a “mailbox” is generally added along with the automated parking system to collect client notices and open business accounts.
The increased security provided by these technologically advanced automated parking systems provides an additional layer of protection to the public. Many parking garages have been successfully transitioning to a fully automated system. Installing an automated parking system will likely reduce that footprint by quite a bit, making it more cost-effective and environmentally responsible.