Searching, manoeuvring and parallel parking a car onthe busy streets of China might soon be a thing of the past.
A 26-storey smart garage with a fully automated parking system has recently been gaining popularity among drivers in Taiyuan city in north China.
The building, covered with glass panels, takes up only 624 square feet (58 sq meters) and can fit 50 vehicles
‘With a little bit of creativity, we were able to utilise the limited land space,’ founder of the Chinese company behind the project, Bo Xiaoming, told Mail Online.’
A small space that could originally only fit three cars can now fit 50,’ he said, adding that all 20 parking spaces designated for SUVs have been taken up every day.
Video footage of the 177-foot-tall (54-metre-tall) garage in operation shows an SUV being lifted and transported in a large elevator after the driver parked the car on the ground floor entrance.
The system automatically shuttles the vehicles to their assigned spot in the building with the push of a button.
Upon retrieval, drivers would just need to scan a QR code with their phones to ‘summon’ their vehicle back to the same spot.The system can identify the corresponding licence plate and deliver the vehicle back to the ground floor.
‘Retrieving the car on the highest floor only takes 70 seconds,’ Mr Bo said.
Developed by his transport tech company Shanxi Huabo Technology, the garage has been open to the public since last December.
The valet robot is available to the public for 5 yuan (£0.59) per hour, or 50 yuan (£5.9) per day.
‘Not only does this facilitates and quickens the process of parking, it is also very environmentally friendly as it saves space and omits emissions,’ Mr Bo added.
In the unlikely event of a power failure, the building is equipped with adual-circuit power supply and a backup generator.
On-site operators would then manually pick up the car for the owners.
The company has plans to expand the smart garage project around and to other cities in China.
UK drivers spend an average of 44 hours a year searching for parking, at a cost of £733 each in wasted time, fuel and emissions, according to traffic data company Inrix.
This makes up to a total of £23.3 billion wasted across the country, the research company added.