When is Robotic Parking not Robotic Parking?

In the 1990s automated parking was still largely just a discussion about possibilities. While there were some old “mechanical garages” in New York and New Jersey, to most people in the parking industry, a robotic garage was one where the entry and exit gates went up and down automatically. The concept of a software system running a garage was still futuristic.

This was the environment in 1994, when Royce Monteverdi coined the term “robotic parking” and established Robotic Parking Systems, Inc. Monteverdi developed the “Lift and Run” system, a software controlled system that ran three separate sets of machines, for the x, y and z axes, to take a car from an entry bay to an upper level, park it, and bring it back to the gate or terminal on demand.

Royce Monteverdi | Robotic Parking

The Lift and Run system, integrating mechanical capability with software control, was a monumental breakthrough in the parking industry. As the New York Times mentioned in 2000, Robotic Parking Systems’ working garage in Hoboken, NJ was the country’s first fully automatic garage.

In the following decade, the term “robotic parking” was picked up and used by others entering the field. Today it has become a generic term for the type of software controlled automatic parking system pioneered by Monteverdi.

And of course, as with any new technology, those entering the field have attempted to bring other technologies into the field, or innovate on the original concepts, with varying degrees of success.

News occasionally comes across our plates about a “robotic parking” garage having difficulty retrieving cars promptly, even some with much smaller capacities than the garages built by Robotic Parking Systems. The use of the term robotic parking should not be interpreted to mean that these garages are using the Robotic Parking Systems technology, which includes the patented Lift and Run system and Robotic Parking Systems proprietary software.

To date we have not seen an alternative system that has been able to match or exceed Robotic Parking Systems’ peak traffic rates of delivery.

The Robotic Parking Systems garage in Dubai, for example, was tested in 2009 and delivered 252 cars per hour; more than four cars per minute, at peak traffic times. The garage the company is currently building will deliver more than 500 cars per hour at peak traffic.

This is not the first time that an original name has been picked up and used across an industry. Escalators were once the proprietary invention of the Otis Elevator Company. We all know how Xerox and Kleenex became generic terms.

Whatever confusion is created by seeing “robotic parking” in a headline of a story that has nothing to do with Robotic Parking Systems, Inc., we are proud that, like Xerox and Kleenex, Robotic Parking Systems continues to provide the benchmarks and performance standards we came out of the (robotic) starting gate with in 1994.

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How it Works

The Robotic Parking Systems patented technology, developed by Royce Monteverdi, enables parking from hundreds up to several thousand cars in half the area of a conventional ramp-style garage.

This creates more space for design, development and community enhancements. Architects and developers can use less space for parking and incorporate more green space, retail space, residential or office space or combinations of these. Continue reading

Project: Pinellas Park, Florida

This robotic parking garage was completed in 2006 and serves as employee parking and the company’s research, development and testing facility.

Royce Monteverdi‘s Robotic Parking Systems, Inc. manufacturers its machinery from raw steel to pinellas2finished product using off-the-shelf, high-quality electrical and mechanical components with L10 lifetimes of 40,000 hours or above. As part of its strategic partnership with Robotic Parking Systems, General Electric supplies all motors, electronics and automation controls for the company’s automated garages.

All of the automated parking machinery produced in the Clearwater, Florida factory undergo a 24 hour stress test and certification before being shipped to a job site. Rigorous quality control procedures are followed to ensure the flawless operation of the machinery and equipment being implemented in the field.

Project: Ibn Battuta Gate, Dubai, UAE – 765 Spaces

This robotic parking facility is a designed and built project. It is the first automated battutagateparking garage in the Middle East region.

Permits for this stand-alone garage were obtained in 2007. The automated car park was constructed in 2008 and officially opened on August 12th 2009.

We believe that this facility is the world’s first and only automated parking garage that had pre-opening performance tests conducted that proved peak traffic handling of more than 250 cars per hour.

The owner, Seven Tides Limited, entered into an operating and maintenance agreement with Robotic Parking Systems who continues its operation to date.

As of 2012, this robotic garage is the only automated car park in the Middle East region that has a continuous operations track record of more than three years.

Project: Hoboken

The installation of the Robotic Parking System in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1996 was the first such automated parking garage in the United States of America.

hoboken3Computer logs of close to 700,000 transactions in the automated parking garage show an “up time” over four years of continuous 24/7 operation of 99.99%. Occupancy of the 314 space Hoboken facility was above 300 cars.

The project has its challenges, many of them related to the socio-economic climate of Hoboken at the time as well as the challenges of being first to market with a new technology (more info). During such intensive operational conditions, we were able to learn exactly what elements could be improved and then incorporated those improvements into our next generation installations.

Users of the Hoboken facility regularly filled out written survey forms which show comments such as:

  • “I’d give up food before I’d give up this garage.” –E.H.hoboken1
  • “… it has been easy and trouble free – very pleasant – and the closest we will come to a driveway in Hoboken.” –L.V.
  • “… It’s such a pleasure to park and walk across the street to my apartment. I’ve been timing how long it takes to retrieve my car, and it’s been about 1 1/2 minutes (not bad at all – ‘smiley face’) … This garage … is (a) great addition to the neighborhood.” –R.C.
  • “It is the wave of the future … Does it work? Yes … I watched while Robotic Parking’s staff ran some of the many thousands of storage and retrieval cycles with and without vehicles.” –J.F.
  • “… it has been very good … Today there were 3 of us in a row retrieving cars, and everything ran smoothly …” –H.W. 

 

 

Carbon Credits Explained

WHAT IS A CARBON CREDIT?

A Carbon Credit is created when the equivalent of one metric ton of carbon dioxide is prevented from entering the atmosphere. Internationally known as Certified Emission Reductions, Emission Reduction Units, or Verified Emission Reductions, each carbon credit has a monetary value depending on the type and origin of the emission reduction produced.

WHAT ARE THEY WORTH?

Each carbon credit can be traded on the open market, with the current spot rates on the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme averaging 25 Euros per tonne during 2008, (EUA DEC ’08).

With the onset of the current global financial crisis and the reduction in the price of oil, the emissions market has been affected. Please see the current spot rate as indicated by the graph just below. As the economy begins to recover and the price of oil rises, the value of carbon credits will also increase.

WHO BUYS CARBON CREDITS?

Carbon credits are mostly purchased by governments & corporations who have a legal or moral duty to reduce their carbon footprint. A growing number of individuals are also purchasing sufficient personal carbon credits to claim a ‘carbon neutral’ lifestyle.

Although these organizations could implement change in their home country by sponsoring emission reduction projects locally, the economic benefits of deploying an equivalent emissions reduction scheme in the developing world for a fraction of the cost is what drives the international trade in ‘carbon offsets’.

WHAT IS CARBON OFFSETTING?

Carbon offsetting is the process by which a successful emissions reduction is produced in one geographical location and claimed by another.

For example, a hydro electricity generation plant established in South America with the financial assistance of the Japanese government displaces the more polluting local oil & coal fired power stations, thereby creating a sizable carbon emissions reduction.

In return for providing the financial assistance, (without which the project would not have occurred), and allowing the international transfer of technology to support the plant, the Japanese government may claim the carbon emission reduction for their home country, thereby offsetting their national carbon reduction commitments.

In return, the developing nation develops sustainable resources, retains first world technology & benefits from a cleaner domestic environment.

EMERGING CARBON MARKET: WHAT’S IT WORTH?

Lawmakers, such as the previous Secretary of State for the Environment, Rt Hon. David Miliband MP, passed legislation to cut 60% of CO2 emissions in the United Kingdom by the year 2050.

“…If all industrialized countries took on emission-reduction commitments of 60-80%, purchased half of their reductions in the developing world, with each credit valued at $10, the global market would be worth $100bn per year…” [United Nations]

ROBOTIC PARKING SYTEMS: REDUCES CO2 EMISSIONS

Robotic Parking Systems can also help in the drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The recently completed Ibn Battuta Gate parking garage in Dubai reduces CO2 emissions by more than 100 tons per year with comparable reductions in other pollutants and greenhouse gases. It additionally saves 9,000 gallons of gasoline per year thus contributing significantly to carbon footprint reductions.