Frequently Asked Questions
QUESTION: What is the cost per space of the Robotic Parking System? How does this compare with a conventional concrete ramp style garage?
ANSWER: The cost per space of the Robotic Parking System depends on three factors: a) the size and the layout of the property, b) the total number of parking spaces needed and c) the required speed of the system. These three variables are of equal importance in the equation when estimating project costs.
Overall development cost, not construction cost, is the most important factor. A Robotic Parking System will ALWAYS result in lower development cost / capital expenditure and generate a higher return on investment as compared to a conventional parking garage in any urban setting.*
This cost comparison is covered in more detail in our newsletter ParkSmart – Issue 27.
Recent turnkey prices have ranged from an average of $20,000 to $30,000 per space for a mid-size garage.
There is a very large difference between pricing for a fully turnkey robotic garage as compared to pricing for just the automated system. You should make sure you understand exactly what is included in any price quotes you receive.
Taking a turnkey construction cost of a Robotic Parking System of $22,000 per space and factoring into the equation the reduced cost of land (or alternately the floor area gained), the adjusted actual construction cost can be as low as $10,000 to $16,000 per space depending on the value of the land and/or floor area.
* Urban setting is defined as anywhere the land price is above $80 USD / SF. (Source: Professor Dr. D. Sollohub of Rutgers University)
QUESTION: How much space can I save by using a Robotic Parking System?
ANSWER: Robotic Parking Systems use an average of 50% less land area for the same amount of parking as compared to conventional concrete ramp style garages.
The compact Robotic Parking System allows increased use of land to maximize revenues. And, if space is at a premium, a project can even become viable by using automated parking to gain a higher density of parking on less land.
QUESTION: How long do drivers need to wait to receive their car?
ANSWER: The time it takes drivers to retrieve their car depends upon where the car is parked inside the system; however, the minimum time needed is 1 minute, and the maximum time is 3 minutes. But, this is not the most important factor.
Much more important is the peak traffic capacity (or throughput) of the system. This means how many cars can be processed in a given time frame, let's say in 30 minutes. If 10 customers retrieve their car at the same time, how long does customer number 10 have to wait until he gets his car? This is the critical point in designing an automated parking system and in the daily operation of the facility. Robotic Parking Systems custom designs each facility to match the peak traffic capacity needed based on the project use and the requirements of the owner. The traffic flow designed ensures that there are no queues of cars waiting to park or people waiting to retrieve their cars.
QUESTION: What is the height of the levels in the Robotic Parking System?
ANSWER: The Robotic Parking System differentiates between sedan vehicles and SUV’s, and each vehicle category will be stored in different levels. Therefore, there are two different heights of levels – 2159 mm / 7.1 ft to accommodate sedan cars and 2692 mm / 8.8 ft to accommodate SUV’s. These are “floor to floor” heights. The total number of levels can add up to 20 or more in specific cases.
Car height for sedans is 1534 mm / 5 ft and 2057 mm / 6.75 ft for SUV's.
For a more detailed description of the modules and their sizing, take a look at the Robotic Parking Systems BIM (Building Information Management. Learn more
QUESTION: How long does it take to build the Robotic Parking System?
ANSWER: The time it takes to build a turnkey Robotic Parking System depends on the size of the project; however, it can typically be completed between 10 to 14 months.
QUESTION: What happens if the electrical power to the garage goes down?
ANSWER: Robotic Parking Systems are equipped with a stand-by generator with sufficient capacity to store and retrieve cars if or when the electrical power is down. An automatic transfer switch ensure a seamless transition to stand-by power within 6 seconds.
QUESTION: What happens if the computer that runs the garage crashes?
ANSWER: Robotic Parking Systems' servers are not only equipped with UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply), but also with a true hot swappable redundant server that has all information instantly available to continue operation on the fly.
GE recommended Stratus ftServer systems to Robotic Parking Systems as the ideal hardware platform to host their CIMPLICITY software. These servers support mission-critical applications around the world, delivering better than 99.999 percent uptime guaranteed in 24/7 operation. In 2010, for example, the average downtime of an ftServer unit across the entire installed base was just 62 seconds.
The stand-by generator installed with every Robotic Parking System acts as another layer of protection to ensure the smooth operation of the computer and software.
QUESTION: What options are available for the operation of a Robotic Parking Systems' facility?
ANSWER: Robotic Parking Systems, Inc. offers several operations and maintenance programs to accommodate the individual needs of owners of the facilities.
Owners can use their own staff for operations and weekly maintenance functions. Operation and maintenance manuals are provided and Robotic Parking Systems will provide training for these personnel.
Or, the owner may elect to have Robotic Parking Systems provide operation services. Learn more.
QUESTION: What diagnostic and maintenance programs are available for the Robotic Parking System?
ANSWER: Robotic Parking Systems has one of the most sophisticated diagnostics systems in the industry. Its patented high level warning systems provide alerts well in advance of any failures to help maintain a high level of uptime.
The software records every rotation of any wheel, bearing, gearbox and motor; and any needed maintenance is immediately reported online to the service department.
Remote access and diagnostic tools allow the Robotic Parking System to be easily monitored and maintained from anywhere in the world. For added coverage, a hotline is installed to our headquarters and GE for remote access 24 hours / 7 days with an average 20 minute response time.
These service are provided through our subsidiary Robotic Service and Operations LLC. Learn more.
QUESTION: Does the Robotic Parking System require a stand-alone building or can it be built under or inside a building?
ANSWER: The Robotic Parking System can be stand-alone, below a building or above a building as long as there are access routes to the terminals. Some 3D models that show the versatility and flexibility of the Robotic Parking System are available. Click here to take a look at the Robotic Parking Systems BIM (Building Information Modeling)
QUESTION: What fire codes apply to the Robotic Parking System? Is special fireproofing required?
ANSWER: Robotic Parking Systems Inc. fully complies with the codes outlined in the New 2011 Edition of NFPA 88A: Standard for Parking Structures. NFPA codes address fire fighting, fire alarms, standpipes, escape routes and ventilation requirements. Chapter 9 of this edition covers definitions and requirements for the new genre of parking structures termed "Automated Mechanical Type Parking Structures."
We have detailed information on how Robotic Parking Systems complies with NFPA 88A in a 4-part series in our Park It Here blog. Just click on the links below for more information:
The new NFPA codes along with the additional steps our company takes to fully extinguish any potential fires alleviate any possible concerns related to fire safety.
NFPA® 88A Standard for Parking Structures 2011 Edition, Chapter 9. Learn more
QUESTION: Does the façade and roof need be self supporting or can they be connected to the Robotic Parking System structure?
ANSWER: No, the façade and roof can be attached to the Robotic Parking System steel or concrete supporting structure and do not need be free standing. However, special connection details must be followed.
Any type of façade can be used whether it's half-timbered, brick, aluminum, concrete or glass. This allows architects a free hand in designing the external appearance of the facility to fit the architectural detail of the project or area.
All the façades shown in the Photo Gallery are connected to the supporting structure of the Robotic Parking System. Take a look at the gallery
QUESTION: How much power is needed to park and retrieve 1 car?
ANSWER: It requires 3Kw/Hr to park and retrieve the car – including all auxiliary electrical needs like lighting, air conditioning etc.
QUESTION: How reliable is a Robotic Parking System? Can a car ever get stuck inside?
ANSWER: Robotic Parking Systems Inc. has more than 15 years of experience designing, building and operating our Robotic Parking garages. The entire system was designed from the very beginning to overcome any possible machine failure so that cars can be retrieved no matter what. This design point is represented in the system architecture, its redundancies and flexibilities.
Plus, our long track record in day-to-day operations of automated parking garages has given us more insight and experience than any other company in the US.
An expert technology auditor (as part of a due diligence investigation on the Robotic Parking System) had this to say about the system's reliability:
- Operational safety two fold on each logical level: software and hardware.
- Full redundancy by using at least two identical machines per geographical area.
- Hot swappable redundant servers supported by UPS and generators.
- Several manual operation stations available for different machines
- Flexible definition of Entry / Exit Terminals indicated by traffic light that can be changed on the fly.
- Service plan based on threshold values for each component.
- System is very solidly designed with lots of redundancy.
- Highly redundant, cleverly designed system with good traceability.
- Best practice compliance.
- Mature, extensible system: over 15 years of experience with system design and operations.
QUESTION: How secure is the Robotic Parking System?
ANSWER: Safety and security are unsurpassed compared to any other parking scheme. For more information on security, go to the Features section and click on Security. Learn more
QUESTION: What level of redundancy is implemented in the Robotic Parking System?
ANSWER: Robotic Parking Systems provides true redundancy with multiple elements controlling the same process to provide alternatives in case of a component failure. For more information on redundancy, go to the Features section and click on Redundancy. Also, for the first time, you can review in the document Basics in Automation the basic design principles of the Robotic Parking System. These principles were formulated at its inception around 1990 and have since been proven true. Read the Basics in Automation report
QUESTION: How many cars can be handled by one gate (terminal) in an hour?
ANSWER: Each entry / exit gate (terminal) can handle 45 cars in one hour. This is derived from an average time measured that depends on the human interface – meaning how long it takes the customer to drive the car into the terminal, get out and take the ticket so that the system can process the car. For more information on this point, please read Automated Parking: Two-Year Report Card. Click here to read this report
QUESTION: Is the Robotic Parking System supporting structure in steel or concrete?
ANSWER: The Robotic Parking System can be used in both a steel structure as well as in a concrete support structure. For details, please see the RPS 1000 AutoCAD drawings. Click here
QUESTION: How many parking spaces can be built with a Robotic Parking System?
ANSWER: Due to the modular flexibility of the Robotic Parking System, automated parking structures are designed and built from hundreds to thousands of parking spaces.
QUESTION: Is the Robotic Parking System suitable for handicapped persons?
ANSWER: Robotic Parking Systems designed the standard entry / exit terminals to be suitable and comfortable for the handicapped. The minimum width of each terminal is 4755 mm / 15.6 ft. which is compatible with the requirements of the ADA – American Disability Act.
QUESTION: What are the rooms needed to operate a Robotic Parking System?
ANSWER: In addition to the actual storage volume, a Control Room, Lobby, Electrical Room, Pump Room, Generator Room and Storage Room for spare parts are needed.
QUESTION: What makes a Robotic Parking System more "green" or environmentally friendly?
ANSWER: Robotic Parking Systems offers a more eco-friendly parking solution by:
(a) Using 50% less space to park the same number of cars as a conventional garage. The amount of land used affects sustainability issues such as development density and maximizing open space. Architects and developers can now use less space for parking and incorporate more green space and open areas to meet certification requirements.
(b) Reducing the traffic congestion and accompanying pollution. Multiple studies have reported that 30% to 50% of traffic congestion in city centers is generated by drivers searching for a parking space. A report from IBM Global Business Services stated that congestion costs up to 4% of GDP. Additionally, the report went on to say, "In the US, congestion in urban areas results in annual costs of 4.2 billion hours of wasted time and US $87 billion from wasted fuel and lost productivity." The high-speed, efficient automated parking system ensures that even the largest parking design can be made smaller while still ensuring fast retrieval times for clients.
(c) Reducing pollution inside the garage by using electromechanical automated parking machinery to move cars into parking spaces. No cars run inside the garage, and there is no driving up and down ramps and through aisles in search of a space. This significantly reduces the emissions of harmful gases, reduces the carbon footprint, increases carbon credits and ensures an environmentally clean parking facility.
Did you know that tire and brake dust pollutants are more toxic than all the exhaust related emissions? In a 750 space Robotic Parking System 37 tons of tire dust and 3.7 tons of brake dust pollutants are eliminated by using electro-mechanical machinery to move cars inside the garage.
(d) A review of LEED for New Construction & Major Renovations indicates that a project which includes a Robotic Parking System could receive at least 10 points and as many as 17 points toward certification.