The automated parking management system has existed for a long time, but is only now finding mass demand for the efficient and effective parking solution. The demand for parking is constantly increasing while the space for large parking lots is decreasing. As a result, automated parking management systems have filled the void by parking more cars in less space and improving profitability, safety, environment considerations and all related expenses. With this in mind, knowing the history of the parking garage can be an interesting topic.
The automated parking system was actually first developed in 1925 by Max Miller in New York City. The designs original purpose was simple to lift a vehicle off the ground, such as in the case of a stalled or broken down car on a street. It was never used.
It was not until 1941, as cars crowded cities that the first attempt to vertically park cars was attempted. O.A. Light created a device that allowed three cars to park vertically, three on each side for a total capacity of six. A year later, E.W. Austin invented the automated garage. His invention became the leader in automated parking during the 40s, 50s and 60s. These systems were called Bowsers, Pigeon Holes and Roto Parks.
Throughout these years, developments and design changes were made to continually improve the automated car park. In 1964, Eric Jaulmes invented what is most similar to the automated parking management systems of today. His system had a valet drive the car into an elevator. The elevator would then take the car to a predetermined spot and the valet would park the car in that space. Then on the return down, if it had been requested, the valet would stop at another spot to get a car to be returned. At the same time, the three former systems were revitalized to remove the valet altogether allowing the lift to tip the car into place and the opposite on retrieval.
By the mid 60's (and released in 1968), a "Vert-a-Park” system was developed by Bob Lichti. Resembling a ferris wheel, the system allowed 22 cars to be parked in the same horizontal space of about two and a half; meanwhile it took up 90 feet vertically.
Development of an Industry
In the 1960 - 1980's the automated parking industry was born as demand started to result in sales. "Space-o-matic” sold approximately 1000 units, the "Park Master” sold 750 and the "DuoPark” sold 3500 units. During the 1970's, the first home applicable parking system was developed called the "Lift Box” which was a cantilever parking system that allowed two cars to park, one above the other.
In the late 1980s, signs of the new style of automated parking management system began to emerge in Europe as concepts for smarter systems requiring less space, more parked cars and further efficiencies were developed. These systems continually evolved and developed to a point where we are now, with automated parking systems being high in demand based on the high cost of parking and ever increasing number of vehicles.
The parking systems of today are now so highly efficient, effective and cost effective than their construction and operation now have shown to be less than the traditional parking garage. The history of the parking garage is long, interesting, and filled with innovative ideas. The future for parking management systems continues to brighten.