the secure solution to ultra-urbanization
July 13, 2008 3:49 PM   Subscribe

some fascinating videos but I wished there was a little more context given in this post.

I wonder how these structures deal with large SUV-type vehicles (especially that one in the last video seems to only feature small convertibles) and how long it would take to get you car back. parking and exiting a vehicle in the structures entrance seems to be a bottleneck as well (at least I tend to search for things when leaving the car). my point being that I don't know which of these solutions is superior, more cost-effective, etc. - I smell a great post for the bldg blog though. still, this was very interesting to see.

and what's up with that music? sheesh
posted by krautland at 4:04 PM on July 13, 2008

Why on earth would you call an automatic parking system U-Parkit?

Surely the point is that you don't. It does. maybe they can link up with a Nintendo franchise and rename it wii-parkit.
posted by Brockles at 4:11 PM on July 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

They said in the "parking" link that 60 seconds was the max retreival time, that assumes, of course, that there isn't a queue to get cars.

I don't know if this would be self-serve, in a busy area is would seem to be more efficient to have a valet style system to drop your car in and then retrieve on the other side. That way you don't have to wait for someone to stash their parcels, belt in the kids, etc. Holding area on either side wouldn't need to be more than a couple of cars; heck, it could even be loading zones on the curb.

Neat idea, I like the providence project.
posted by maxwelton at 4:13 PM on July 13, 2008

Yeah, U-Parkit is an all-around lousy name, especially when there's one that's perfect on all levels and bloody obvious: AutoPark.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:18 PM on July 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Neither system is particularly appealing; both seem like they'd be a massive headache should they become inoperable due to power outages, mechanical failure, etc., and the first has the added status of people-crushing deathtrap.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:28 PM on July 13, 2008

What Sys Rq said.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 5:18 PM on July 13, 2008

and the first has the added status of people-crushing deathtrap.

The car itself is a people-crushing deathtrap.
posted by Brian B. at 5:27 PM on July 13, 2008

I like the idea of the U-Park-It, but I wonder how well it can handle a crowd of people waiting to get to work at 7:55 on a Monday morning. Current space-inefficient designs seem better able to get cars in and out as quickly as possible, without the worry of what happens in a power outage.

But I do want to see a vending machine full of cars one day in the future.
posted by JDHarper at 5:31 PM on July 13, 2008

I think I saw a Ferris Wheel parking system in Mad Magazine 30 years ago....and I laughed!
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:39 PM on July 13, 2008

The car itself is a people-crushing deathtrap.

I should have said potential deathtrap. My concern is this: With the ferris wheel system, it seems that in order to get your car out, you'd have to go and stand directly in the Squish Zone. That seems like a terrifying prospect.

Also, any idea on the kind of wattage these operations would draw? I'd imagine the stacker would be more efficient in that regard, since it doesn't have to Rolodex through however many cars before the correct one comes around, multiplied by however many people use it every day. How about noise?

"But people actually like to watch them go around. It’s like standing around and watching a Ferris wheel go around."

Providence: There's excitement around!
posted by Sys Rq at 6:00 PM on July 13, 2008

In Japan, I've seen both types of these lots. The latter is in use at the new-ish shopping center Roppongi Hills. Very sci-fi looking.
posted by zardoz at 9:51 PM on July 13, 2008

How about noise?

Usually quiet due to power outages, but when it collapses, loud screams and sirens.
posted by Brian B. at 10:07 PM on July 13, 2008

These are kinda cool.. but I thought there was an automated parking garage in New Jersey that trapped people's cars in it for the weekend when the software had a bug... So I'm somewhat skeptical of the "completely automated" description. There will probably need to be at least one guy to make sure that people don't try to mess with the system... or to figure out how to retrieve stuff that people will forget on top of their cars (and said stuff falls into the machinery abyss where people aren't supposed to go)...
posted by mhh5 at 12:48 AM on July 14, 2008

ah. here's the giant robot traps parked cars story..
posted by mhh5 at 12:53 AM on July 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

Or, we could just do without cars in urban centres.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:10 AM on July 14, 2008

I recommend the robot traps cars story, above, it's all about a dispute over licensing of the software and when the city kicked the management company out of the automated stacking garage it owned, then the software stopped working because it was licensed on a month-to-month and maybe had a timebomb.
posted by Brian B. at 6:28 AM on July 14, 2008

Or, we could just do without cars in urban centres.

fix public transportation first. the london underground central line during rush hour is a great example of how sucktastic the situation otherwise gets to be. I had to let five trains pass this morning until I got myself smushed into someone's armpit. or try the northern line, that subtropic greenhouse. the carless life is subpar enough that I'll be going back to paying my congestion charge and parking fees starting next month.
posted by krautland at 6:44 AM on July 14, 2008

They said that the ferris-wheel machine is powered by a 50-horsepower motor. That's a pretty easy "run a generator if the power goes out" number.
posted by maxwelton at 11:44 AM on July 14, 2008

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