Giant Underground Automated Car Storage Lockers May Be the Future of Inner-City Parking

Friday, 13 October 2017 - 8:52AM
Technology
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Friday, 13 October 2017 - 8:52AM
Giant Underground Automated Car Storage Lockers May Be the Future of Inner-City Parking
Image credit: Giken
There's no denying it: The worst thing about living in any major city is parking.

Well, parking, and increased levels of petty crime, but let's face it - parking is an issue that comes up more often.

Having already revolutionized bicycle storage with enormous automated rotating bike racks, machine construction company Giken is looking to do the same with cars. The company's new ECO Park concept would involve a single, small above-ground structure that drivers can leave their cars in, which then automatically lowers vehicles deep into the earth and files them away in a massive, sprawling system of tightly packed but otherwise perfectly safe automobiles.

It's a lot like the luggage locker system used by Japan's automated hotel, and if it's good enough for robot dinosaurs, it'll probably be good enough for cars as well.



The numerous advantages to this innovative parking system might surprise you. First, it should make finding a parking space far easier; the automated system will handle that without a problem. It also potentially means that parking might be even cheaper than it is today - such a system entails a far for economic real estate cost because tightly packed cars take up less space.

And it isn't just a possible cost saver for drivers everywhere, this system will be safer, too. Nobody can smash a window and steal your stereo if your car is deep underground, and it's very unlikely that an octopus will run amok through the parking lot during a supermoon.

Then there's the benefits of freeing up above-ground space for other businesses, parks, or housing, all of which makes a tremendous difference in a metropolitan city with millions of people all working and living together in a tight space. A world without above-ground parking lots getting in everyone's way certainly sounds like a dream come true.

Of course, there are limitations to this system. The biggest problem could simply be that parking lots will, in general, become obsolete in the near future as self-driving cars grow in popularity.

Why pay for all-day parking in a big city when your car can drop you off, then drive itself back home afterward? This will be particularly useful for anyone who knows how long they're going to be in the city center and who can schedule a pick-up as well once they're done with their business. And if flying taxis take off the way many businesses expect, none of us will want to use cars if we can avoid it.

Perhaps the biggest problem, though, is that if you park your car, walk out of the parking lot, and suddenly realize that you've left your purse on the back seat, it'll be a nightmare to try and get your car out of the underground labyrinth again just so you can retrieve it.

Of course, if you're that forgetful, you should probably just take the bus.
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