Robo-Parking

December 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Sumayyah Meehan, TMO

roboparkYou know the feeling. The sheer exuberance experienced when a sweet parking spot opens up right before your eyes. It’s probably near the entrance of the place you are visiting and the perfect size to ensure your car won’t get dinged by the doors of your parking neighbors. Contrastingly, you might have experienced sheer disappointment after a stealthy driver swiped your parking spot right out from under your nose. Fights, shouting matches and even fatal attacks often occur over a parking space. This past summer, in Kuwait, a man stabbed another one to death over a parking space. Whether you live in New York City, London or Riyadh “parking space rage” is a very real occurrence.

The East & West Robotics Company located in Sharjah, which is a municipality of the United Arab Emirates, has seemingly come up with a surefire solution to parking woes for some citizens in Sharjah. According to the company website, “East and West Robotics was established by the Al Marwan Group to bring technological advancements and innovative ideas within the Middle East region and to give a new philosophy to industrial operations.” The company has created an automated parking garage in the heart of the city called The Robot Park Tower that features an automated parking system that makes parking a cinch.

The 31-floor parking garage is comprised of individual parking spaces to accommodate 200 vehicles. The garage features an intricate computer system that identifies empty spaces and fills each with a car. It is very user-friendly. Parking, and even retrieving, the car requires the user to send a “missed” call to a special telephone number. The system can park or retrieve a car in 45 seconds flat. While it is automated, human workers do keep an eye on it to ensure that it runs smoothly.

East & West Robotic predicts that more residential and commercial areas will soon rely on automated parking facilities, as parking in the country has been problematic for years. However, parking in such a state-of-the-art facility is not free. Those wishing to have their cars parked robotically pay in upwards of $1300 per annum. The hefty price tag will force many drivers to continue their battle-weary plight to find the perfect parking space in the least amount of time. Other drivers will gladly fork over the cash to enjoy stress-free parking, for at least part of the day.

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