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The Garden Street Garage in Hoboken, NJ is one of them new-fangled parking garages that eschews the inefficiencies of gates and ramps in favor of a robotic store-and-retrieval system. These facilities are wonders to behold in person and usually loved by their patrons, except when someone turns it off with their cars trapped inside.

Last week it happened at the Garden Street Garage when the city of Hoboken entered into a dispute with Robotic Parking, the owners of the software that run the garage. The city of Hoboken had police escort Robotic Parking employees from the garage a few days before the contract between the two parties was going to expire. Unfortunately, Hoboken didn't realize that its software license ran out after its contract with Robotic Parking expired and that the garage would, subsequently, just stop working.

Both sides went to court where it was settled that Hoboken would pay $5,500 for a new three-year software license, and the victimized patrons finally got their vehicles back.

[Source: Wired]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nice... an article I found on the re-opening of the garage says that the city will end up spending MORE every month by paying Robotic Parking for the software and paying another company to actually run the day-to-day operation than it would have paid Robotic Parking to continue operating the garage without interruption. Now there's a well-thought-out business decision. It reinforces my cynical view of politicians.
      • 8 Years Ago

      No, it must turn them for maximum freshness, and makes sure it they don't go bad.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Robotic said they had put $10 million of research into developing the software. "

      Is that software made out of gold? What does the software do? Rotate the cars in the carousel to bring a specific cell to the 'unload' level? Kinda like you rotate the closes at the dry cleaner? Wow. That a cool $10 well spent.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Robots controlling society? Panic, for SKYNET is upon us!! =D =D
      • 8 Years Ago
      As the only person on this board who actually parks his car in this garage, I can say that the city really dropped the ball on this one. The city and Robotic were arguing over roughly $4500 a month. With 300 cars in the garage this broke down to approx. $13 per car, per month. (If my math is wrong forgive me) Instead of trapping our cars and paralizing a neighborhood where it is damn near impossible to park, pass the added cost onto us the consumer. There are many SL500, 645i and A8's and I promise no one would have had a problem paying an extra $13. It's great when political hothead's get in the way of people getting to work.