I recently read a very interesting article that alluded to the future of car parking. These systems are known as Automated Parking Systems. You may not have seen or heard about them but they are currently being built and used. In New York there is a 74 space automated garage. The company that built this parking structure have 28 automated garages across 11 countries and it got me thinking about the implications of urban planning and housing. On top of this it also got me thinking about the implications on the motor industry and how Dealerships could work in the future.
With the ability to use up to 50% less building volume and up to 70% less land than traditional high rise car parking there are very obvious advantages to using automated garages. Not only do they save space but the enhanced security is ideal. To park, you drive the car into a booth and then you leave and the car gets parked by way of a platform that moves it into a predetermined space. This is all done without anybody physically entering the car park itself. Without anyone being able to physically access the car park the car will be secure.
So what impact could systems like this have on the motor industry? Well how about saving space at dealerships? How many times have you visited a dealership and there has not been any availability for parking? Well, what if the Dealership were able to store 100 cars underground in an automated car park. The Dealership could have ten or so cars on show and then be able to switch these around and get cars from the car park as and when a customer would like to see a certain make or model. That would allow a much less crowded showroom and certainly a much less crowded car park which is normally full with not only visitor’s cars, but also cars that have just been delivered, service cars and sales cars waiting to go out.
With this in mind, you could also start looking at locating dealerships elsewhere. With a number of manufacturers now opening satellite sites within shopping centres for example, if they had access to an automated car park they would not have to be satellite sites. They could set their Main Dealerships in a City Centre Shopping Mall. As things stand City Centre dealerships are costly. With the amount of land needed to have a fully functioning Dealership at the moment this could be an option to allow City Centre spots without the need to park 40 cars out the front of the dealership.
With constant innovation in technology and constant changes with urban planning could this be a reality in the motor industry any time soon? Could we end up with Dealerships looking like a scene out of the film Minority Report? Stacks of cars as high as the eyes can see?