Thursday, 27 September 2012

Robotic Parking

 Theconclusion of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol  stars a robotic parking system. Today's Globe and Mail makes a great case for making these mandatory in urban areas. If Toronto's city hall parking was converted to robo parking 20,000 gallons of gasoline would not be burned. At $1.30/ liter that's $118,000 dollars not spent. Therefore if such service was mandatory in the old city of Toronto, the collective users of the parking would be saving  two to three million dollars a year. That does not take into account the reduction of wear and tear on your car from driving/reversing/idling a cold engine around a parking garage.
As the article points out in areas of high land value these systems cost less than traditional parking garages, and all the flat parking lots wasted opportunity cost could be captured. Additional benifts include the option to have your car washed, to detect heartbeats and make sure no child or dog is ever accidentally left in the car. In the case of electric cars the robots could charge them during the day, effectively making electric an option for 80% of commuters. Everybody gets to park and depart steps from the door, protected from the wind and the rain. For those with attached garages winter commutes would start and end without winter. Break ins and car theft from parking lots would be eliminated.
The massive parking lots around malls and big box stores could be converted to condo's. Go stations could be communities. 

Imagine commuters coming into Milton from the west in the morning, exiting from the ramp to a parking garage attached to the Go station. Half the system capacity could be on the other side of the 401, and on the return journey commuter drives right on to the ramp headed in the direction home. Of course a skybridge would be needed, but imagine the gasoline and time saved. A network of Go parking built around the 400 series highways could eliminate gridlock.


  1. Just watched the film and wondered if this was reality or fantasy. Are there actually functional garages like this one?

    1. Hi Speedracer, yes there are many in Europe and Japan, the one in Mubabai may be a functioning one from Germany.