Robotic parking garages haven't caught on in the U.S. like they have in other developed countries. Perhaps that's because we're not as strapped for open space as other nations, or maybe its because the only robotic parking garage in the U.S. has dropped both a Cadillac Deville and a Jeep several stories and trapped its patrons vehicles inside for 26 hours because of a software glitch. We reported on that robotic garage back in August when a legal dispute between the city of Hoboken, NJ and Robotic Parking Systems, Inc. trapped even more cars inside.
In the Big Apple, however, space for parking is at such a premium that they're willing to risk the aforementioned pit falls to give this robotic storage-and-retrieval thing the old college try. A new robotic garage will open in Chinatown in early February that, unlike the Hoboken facility, stores its cars underground beneath an apartment building. Built by Automotion Parking Systems (click link to watch a demo), the Chinatown facility will be able to fit 67 vehicles where a traditional garage could only fit 24. Patrons can pay $25/day to park or $400/month, which the AP report tells us is competitive for NYC parking. Automotion claims there's a virtual impossibility of any snafus occuring similar to the ones that plagued the parking patrons of Hoboken, though time will certainly tell on this one.
As always, we here at Autoblog would like to extend our warmest greetings to our new robotic overlords, and just say that we look forward to becoming their sole source of power after we scorch the sky.
[Source: Associated Press]