The automated parking system is not a new concept with early attempts dating back to the early 1900s. However, the enthusiasm for it tends to ebb and flow over time. In the US, there is a major push for this type of project right now due to the current conditions on the ground. Other countries have been actively implementing this system for decades with great success. The APS is considered by many as a practical solution to pressing issues including the following:
The High Cost of Land
Typical parking lots and buildings consume a lot of space. These facilities might be fine for the suburbs and rural areas but they are becoming difficult to justify in urban centers. Few pockets of land are available for parking and their cost per square meter is just too high. One would have to design a building with multiple levels that could pack a large number of cars to make it financially viable. With an automated parking system, density can be increased by removing the driving lanes, ramps, elevators, stairs, and walkways. Slots for each car can be made smaller since there is no pedestrian traffic and no allowance for opening the doors. Drivers and passengers are meant to alight before the car goes into the automated parking entrance.
The Increasing Car Use
The land may be getting scarce but the number of cars being driven is increasing. That is simply the consequence of the ballooning populations in cities as people look for work opportunities. In places where the public transportation options are underdeveloped, families have no choice but to buy their own cars to move around. Some streets have turned into virtual car parks with rows of vehicles on one or both sides. This reduces the number of lanes that can be used by moving traffic. However, sometimes drivers have no choice because actual parking spaces are almost always full. More parking slots need to open.
The Improvement of Technology
Early attempts at creating structures with an APS suffered from technical glitches because the idea was too far ahead of its time. Much has changed since then with modern technologies proving to be equal to the task. Many of these projects are already showing how well they work in the US and other countries. Things will only get better as demand picks up and more money is poured into APS research and development.