One of the many benefits of Robotic Parking Systems is that you can park twice as many cars in the same amount of space as conventional ramp-style garages.
Others are looking at reducing the space needed for parking with solutions such as folding cars. Folding cars? You read it correctly; folding cars.
(Marketwire) The world’s very first car that folds into itself to save parking space is set to be launched. The Hiriko folding electric car is a prototype that has been developed by the partnership of the Basque businesses, the Spanish government, and the MIT Media Lab, a US research firm. The tiny bubble car is scheduled to go into production in Spain next year.
The new vehicle, which has been dubbed as a ‘capsule-like city car’ is to be unveiled in Brussels by Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission and it is reported that it is powered by four in-wheel motors. Each wheel is said to be independently driven and steers by ‘robot’ in-wheel electric motors to increase maneuverability. The conventional steering wheel has been replaced by a ‘joystick’ which tugs on the driver’s fingers when ordered by a navigation system.
The manufacturers claim that the car only uses two-thirds of the footprint of a Smart car and the aim of the project is to free up the many miles of car parking space that inhabits cities. Around 20 vehicles will be deployed on a trial basis from autumn this year in several European and American cities including Boston, in Massachusetts, Malmo in Sweden, and Bilbao in Spain.
The driver as well as the passenger enters and leaves the Hiriko through one single door at the front of the car.
I think the broad use of automated parking systems to reduce land area needed for parking is a much more current and practical solution for the US. We can still save space on parking and keep our sedans and SUVs to move around the kids, groceries and those home improvement materials.