Robotic Garage Opens in New York City

Last modified on January 30th, 2007

I was doing a little last minute reading before going to bed, and stumbled upon this article. Apparently a parking garage in New York city will be operated by a computer. You simply drive your car onto a pallet, walk away, and it will be parked. Or maybe dropped.

Here’s a good quote:

Built in 2002 across the river in Hoboken, N.J., with 314 spaces for monthly rentals only, the garage dropped an unoccupied Cadillac Deville six floors in 2004 and a Jeep four stories the following year.

Wow, where do I sign up? Luckily they were unoccupied, but still. Imagine coming back to pick your car up after a long day of work, only to find it in a smoking heap because some engineer forgot to a carry a one somewhere in the code.

Dennis Clarke, the chief operating officer at Robotic Parking, acknowledged the operational problems, but said the garage has operated with “99.99 percent efficiency.” He called the 26-hour outage a freak incident, where two redundant sensors failed at the same time and a maintenance crew failed to follow company policy in not repairing them right away.

So the real question is what does efficiency mean? Does it mean the ability to get your car out? Or does that include dropping your car? Because 99.99 percent means 1 out of every 10,000 cars is inefficient. Which means roughly once a month in this garage somebody’s car is getting totalled.

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