Frequently Asked Questions
How reliable is a Robotic Parking System? Can a car ever get stuck inside?
Robotic Parking Systems Inc. has more than 26 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.
A third-party 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 26 years of experience with system design and operations.
How secure is the Robotic Parking System?
Safety and security are unsurpassed compared to any other parking scheme. For more information on security, go to Solutions / Products. Learn more
What level of redundancy is implemented in the Robotic Parking System?
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 Solutions / Products.
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
How many cars can be handled by one gate (terminal) in an hour?
Each entry / exit gate (terminal) can handle 40 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. The dwell time for a patron to park a car in a terminal is 45 seconds – an international standard. For more information on this point, please read Automated Parking: Two-Year Report Card.
Click here to read this report
Can a Robotic Parking System be leased?
Robotic Parking Systems Inc. has established lease financing – on or off the ledger – for parking projects that can demonstrate parking revenues on a long-term basis. Leasing includes the operation and maintenance of the system as well. The developer / owner may also choose to outsource the entire parking needs of the project to a Robotic Parking Systems’ affiliate.
What is the cost per space of the Robotic Parking System? How does this compare with a conventional concrete ramp style garage?
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.
Factoring in today’s requirements in concrete ramp garages such as wayfinding systems, access controls and security systems (cameras, emergency phone stations, alarms, etc.) and emerging technology requirements, it can be fairly stated that the turnkey construction cost of an automated garage in the range of 500 parking spaces is lower than a comparable concrete ramp garage.
* Urban setting is defined as anywhere the land price is above $80 USD / SF. (Source: Professor Dr. D. Sollohub of Rutgers University 2002)
How much space can I save by using a Robotic Parking System?
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. On the basis of volume, the system can provide 2 to 3 times more parking spaces compared to concrete ramps. Typically, concrete ramps are designed up to a maximum of 6 or 7 levels. A Robotic Parking System can go up to 15 or more levels. Taking this into account, a Robotic Parking System can provide 6 times the amount of parking on the same footprint compared to a concrete ramp garage.
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.
How long do drivers need to wait to receive their car?
Much more important is the peak traffic capacity (or throughput) of the system. This means how many cars can be processed inbound and outbound 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. A traffic study typically provides this data point. The traffic flow designed ensures that there are no queues of cars waiting to park or people waiting to retrieve their cars longer than the 3 minutes average.
Robotic Parking Systems certifies average retrieval time and throughput via a third-party company such as TUV. Recent certified throughput for our Al Jahra Court project was 425 cars per hour – an average of 7 cars per minute.
What is the height of the levels in the Robotic Parking System?
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 15 levels 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 AutoCAD sample layout files for RPS 1000 and RPS 200. Learn more
How long does it take to build the Robotic Parking System?
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.
What happens if the electrical power to the garage goes down?
What happens if the computer that runs the garage crashes?
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 operations. In 2019, for example, the average yearly downtime of an ftServer unit was just 31.6 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.
What options are available for the operation of a Robotic Parking Systems' facility?
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 on a long-term basis. This service agreement guarantees the entire installed system during the term of the agreement. Contact us for more information.
What diagnostic and maintenance programs are available for the Robotic Parking System?
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 or linear motion 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 services are provided through our subsidiary Robotic Service and Operations LLC.
Does the Robotic Parking System require a stand-alone building or can it be built under or inside a building?
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.
What fire codes apply to the Robotic Parking System? Is special fireproofing required?
Robotic Parking Systems Inc. fully complies with the codes outlined in the 2019 Edition of NFPA 88A: Standard for Parking Structures. NFPA codes address firefighting, 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 detailed how Robotic Parking Systems comply with NFPA 88A in a 4-part series in our Park It Here blog. Click here for a pdf version of these blog posts.
Robotic Parking Systems is pioneering additional types of firefighting systems above the requirements of NFPA as we want to try to achieve actual fire extinguishing rather than using just water sprinklers.
Does the façade and roof need be self supporting or can they be connected to the Robotic Parking System structure?
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
How much power is needed to park and retrieve 1 car?
Is the Robotic Parking System supporting structure in steel or concrete?
The Robotic Parking System can be used in both a steel structure as well as in a concrete supporting structure. For details, please see the RPS 1000 AutoCAD drawings. Click here
How many parking spaces can be built with a Robotic Parking System?
Is the Robotic Parking System suitable for handicapped persons?
What are the rooms needed to operate a Robotic Parking System?
What makes a Robotic Parking System more "green" or environmentally friendly?
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 circling the block and 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 per year 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. Similar results can be achieved using the “Parksmart scorecard.“
What is the size of the Robotic Parking System Pallet?
Does the Robotic Parking System provide electric vehicle charging?
Once the charging cord is connected between the vehicle and the pallet in the Entry / Exit Terminal, the system charges the vehicle at the parking slot using a ‘Level 2’ system. Cars can be automatically moved from the charging station into a non-charging slot to make room for other vehicles to be charged. This means fewer charging stations need to be utilized to charge more cars.
What are the steps needed to build a Robotic Parking System?
In our presentation Manufacturing & Installing a Robotic Parking System, you can follow from start to finish the building of our 765-space garage at the Ibn Battuta Gate complex in Dubai, UAE.
Where is the largest automated parking garage in the world?
Al Jahra Court, Kuwait. For the second time, a Robotic Parking System automated garage earned the Guinness World Record for the Largest Automated Parking Facility in the world. The record was officially awarded to the company in February 2018.