Concrete and painted lines is so 1999. Parking garages could be taken to a new level with more electric vehicle charging stations and better energy efficiency, space utilization and completely automated systems. Put it all together and it shows that parking should be getting more respect, says Paul Wessel, executive director of Green Parking Council, telling The New York Times, "The parking industry has had something of a Rodney Dangerfield complex, but that's changing now."

Green Parking Council hosted an "innovation salon" in mid-September at BMW i Ventures' office in Lower Manhattan. Garages haven't changed very much in recent decades, but the need for more EV charging stations in garages has prompted rethinking what can be done, Wessel said. New technologies at parking garages could include energy-efficient lighting capable of dimming when customers are gone, solar panels and apps directing drivers to open spots. Automated parking would cut emissions and squeeze cars into tight spaces. As an example of what's possible, Council board chairman John Schmid pointed to his company's Propark America's prototype green parking Canopy facility at Denver International Airport. BMW Group's DesignWorks USA and Green Parking Council worked with Propark on setting up the Canopy garage with LED lightighing, EV charging and alternative energy applications, including geothermal.

Automation Parking Systems also put in a word for revolutionizing parking where robotic parking pallets do all the work. Through stacking, these garages need a lot less space than conventional garages do to store the same number of cars. They also helpf cut down operating costs and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. As seen in the photo above, Automation Parking Systems has been at it a few years, including installing an automated facility in New York City in 2007.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      Naturenut99
      • 3 Months Ago
      I despise automated parking. It's a neat idea, but personally, I go back and forth from my car while it's parked. And that isn't an option with automated. Sometimes it to get something, sometimes to sit for a bit, check information etc... While I do see the advantages, to me they don't trump having easy access to your own vehicle. I even despise, standard garages that only use attendants. And they don't let you go up to your car. It's a horrible experience for me.
      Spec
      • 3 Months Ago
      And it won't be so easy for people to steal your car or steal something from it.
      Dave R
      • 3 Months Ago
      Integrate J1772 charging in these and that'd be awesome.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Months Ago
        @Dave R
        Inductive charging would be the way to go for easy automation.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hi Daryl. The pallets should work pretty much like a Rubik cube. Sending an electric vehicle capable one when needed and despatching it to a slot with a charger would be pretty trivial for today's warehousing computer programs. Imagine the warehouses at Amazon!
          DarylMc
          • 3 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hi DaveMart I disagree. While I'm sure it can be done I can't see anything easy about providing power (inductive or plug in) to a vehicle on a moving pallet. While I can see that the system would be useful to make the most of a small area, it is hard for me to imagine that this would be a cost effective replacement for a multi level concrete car park.
          DarylMc
          • 3 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Hi DaveMart Yeah I suppose, but if all the pallets were not fitted (and I imagine they wouldn't be) you would need to wheel out an EV pallet. Probably not out of the question to dispense them as required at the drop off point but still quite a bit of planning. I would think quite a lot more expensive than setting up some wall mounted units. If they wanted to be efficient with chargers maybe they could shuffle the EV's around once charged too.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          A contact point on the bottom of the pallet would allow the power to get in when it reaches the parking space. Other than that it is no more complex to provide a charging pad on the pallet than anywhere else.