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UPDATE: Video from Popular Mechanics added after jump

We already told you about AutoMotion's New York garage. It's that nifty robotic parking garage that promised to do a much better job than the country's first attempt at automated parking in New Jersey. That was the one that managed to drop a Cadillac Deville and a Jeep from pretty high up. It also trapped approximately 300 vehicles inside for 26 hours when the city's contract with the software company responsible for running the garage expired. That situation has been cleared up, apparently, and hopes for the new garage in NY are high as well.

The new robotic garage opened in Chinatown in early February. Built and run by AutoMotion Parking Systems, it stores 67 cars underground in the same amount of space a traditional garage could only fit 24. All for just $25/day or $400/month, which seems to be competitive for NYC parking. AutoMotion claims there's next-to no chance of any problems like those experienced in NJ. And now we have a slideshow from the New York Times portraying the whole process step-by-step. Click the read link to see the M3 convertible disappear into the bowels of the system and return to the surface unscathed.

[Source: The New York Times, Popular Mechanics]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      NOOO!!! I do valet parking over the summers, I have a great time driving all of your nice cars, please don't take that away from me! I'm begging you!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Doesn't that white car in the promotional pictures look like a Ford Falcon (the car below the BMW X5)?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Think about it: If it's like the European garages, You lock it and take the keys. Nobody to take it for a joyride or rummage through your stuff. How much wait is that worth?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The biggest problem I see with these units is that it can't handle volume. It appears from the setup that it can only handle one car at a time. Volume will be an issue anywhere property value and density is high enough to warrant such a space saving unit. How many people are already tired of waiting in the long lines to get out of some garage units? Think how bad this one would be.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I do not understand why everyone keeps saying that people are just being lazy. Efficient use of space is THE issue, real estate isn't exactly cheap in Manhattan.

      #13- lemme guess... The Woodlands, Sugar Land or Katy?

      • 8 Years Ago
      David, I too thought the white car looked like the Falcon. Interesting...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey #11 I am a suburbanite born and raised..on the border of Houston. Just because someone lives in the burbs does not mean they do not know anything about parking in downtown areas. I for one rather park it myself. I don't care for valet either. The good thing about Houston though, its mixed. Were there are parking garages and valet, you can pretty much bet there are places you can park yourself as well. Doesn't mean you will find one, but the diversity of parking options we have here is a good thing, expecially with so many people moving here each here! I think a lot of technology has made us ridiculously lazy, therefore, I wouldn't even think of using this system.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is a GREAT idea! No more attendants taking a car for a joyride, or stealing change, or worse. No one having your keys either!

      I, for one, wouldn't mind using this system. I too would be amused just watching the system. But for increased security, I wouldn't mind not being able to see. Imagine theives would try to get to the cars if they knew what was parked in there (see through the glass).

      • 8 Years Ago
      It amazes me that there are parking garage Luddites among the readership of Autoblog...

      Having used traditional parking systems around Manhattan, this is by far the best option in my opinion. Your other choice (besides self-park garages, of which there are not very many) is an empty lot with individual vehicle lifts and attendants with both the willingness and ability to move your car on an hourly basis. You still have to wait for some dude to move everyone else's car out of the way to get yours out, so time is hardly a factor here.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think the real solution to parking congestion is making public tranportation a more appealing way of traveling. We need more Disney-like Monorails in our cities that literally drop you off the doorstep of whatever building you need to get to.

      We need to stop widdening and repairing roads every 8 years and just put Monorails on every major street in America. It will reduce our reliance on oil, reduce pollution, and ultimately free up real estate.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I agree that technology can make us lazy. Have you seen episode of Sarah Silverman not being able to find TV remote so she ends up being forced to watch AIDS special?

      But at same time, hey man this is New York. A hundred miles an hour, no time to slow down, operate on 4 coffees per day. This sort of a solution makes terrific sense for New York, and other heavily congested cities. Houston is hardly that, completely different culture, more laid back. Can't argue that point. So from marketing perspective automated parking a brilliant utilization of tried and tested technology. Props to all from NY! "Behold as I send you as sheep amidst the wolves" - Devil's Advocate.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hum...don't know how that's going to be effective since there are so many drivers in NYC...But then again, if Japan has automated parking garages and they have tons of people too, then I don't see NYC having a problem.

      Tina Silva
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