Let a Robot Park Your Car in 2 Minutes in Denmark’s Underground Parking Lot

And it doesn’t cost much more than a regular parking spot.

Nov 23 2015, 5:12pm

If the path to the future looks like a slow but sure climb toward full efficiency, consider this automated car park a short cut to the summit.

This fully automated car park, designed by German firm Lödige Industries, opened its doors on November 11. Located below Dokk1, a library and cultural center in Aarhus, Denmark, the space can hold up to 1,000 cars in its three underground stories. As the video shows, the parking is all handled by a computer that processes payments and placements much like a digital valet.

You leave your car, check off a few safety precautions, then pay the parking fees through the terminal. A flat robot then pulls your car into its own personal parking space among hundreds of others underground.

The process takes around one to two minutes and thankfully doesn't cost more than a regular parking spot, as Lödige said in a press release. Baltimore Maryland's Thurgood Marshall Airport, which also operates a smart parking garage, made a similar decision to price its garage spaces competitively. While the garage doesn't use robots or aggressively space-efficient placements like the way Dokk1's parking garage does, a spokesperson said the smart parking spots "[pay for themselves] through increased utilization and improved quality of customer experience."

Dokk1's robotic parking scenario also relieves the pain of circling congested blocks as drivers are wont to do in large and dense cities. Smart parking is still an emergent and expensive way of tackling the parking problem, but the upsides of the business are fewer carbon emissions and greater efficiency.

It seems like a lot of work and capital to streamline a messy and often-hated task, but a little investment now could ease the collective purgatory that is dozens of people pouring through blocked-up side streets day in and day out.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said the car park opened its doors on December 11; it was in fact November 11.