Major metros are often choked with traffic. Of all types of vehicles, four wheelers occupy the most road space per person. Often, parked vehicles on roads reduce the width of the carriageway by a significant percentage. The problem has reached such a stage that the Urban Development Minister publicly announced that car buyers may need to show proof of parking space availability in the future . The courts in India have also expressed their concern on the lack of a policy for car parking on roads .

Mechanized car parking solutions provide a way to use available road or plot space innovatively. If buildings can go up with multiple floors or underground, so can cars! In large systems, car parking and retrieval can be much faster. Since cars do not need to be switched on when inside the parking system, it saves fuel as well. Not only that, users get a true picture of the number of slots available at any given point of time and can park accordingly instead of wasting time finding slots. Finally, the risk of theft is minimal in such systems, since it is not possible to drive the car away from its slot.

Types of Mechanized Parking System

  • Stack
  • Puzzle
  • Tower or Elevator
  • Rotary
  • Horizontal Circulation
  • Shuttle

Stack: Typically, these systems are simple ones where 2 or 3 cars can be parked over each other. In the basic models, the vehicle parked below needs to be removed before the one at the top can be lowered and used. These are called ‘Dependent’ systems. Advanced models are designed such that each car can be removed without the need to remove any other car. Usually, this is done by installing the system in a pit. The lower platforms can then be lowered under ground level, for the cars on top to be removed. These are called ‘Independent’ systems. This category of parking solutions are ideally suited for simple applications where number of vehicles and their flow is limited. Such systems can be operated manually or through electrical/hydraulic means.

Puzzle: Such systems consist of rows of parking slots, placed one above the other. Cars can enter the system on any one of the slots available in the lowermost row. Parking slots can usually move in more than one vertical and horizontal direction. For this purpose, one slot on each row is usually left empty. Cars can be moved to any position in the system, based on the time for which they will remain there. For example, cars which will be parked for long could go to the topmost row. This type of system is usually fully automated.

Tower or Elevator: This system is ideal for small plots of land, with need for high number of parking slots. Cars are stacked on top of each other and are moved in and out of their slots using an elevator. Each level may have one or two parking slots on one or either side of the elevator. Such systems are usually fully automated.

Rotary: Suited for small areas, parking slots move in a circular fashion at the lowest level giving the solutions its name. For larger areas, the system can be duplicated to give higher capacity. Being a simple mechanism, it is low on maintenance and easy to operate.

Horizontal Circulation: Parking slots move vertically to their designated row and subsequently move horizontally into their slot. They can be installed underground to save space and are fully automated.

Shuttle: Parking slots can move vertically (lifts) and horizontally (shuttles) to move any car in and out of its place quickly. They are suites for large capacity systems and can be built underground as well.

In conclusion, such system can be part of the solution to the parking problem in major cities of India. Some of the major companies offering their solutions in India include:

    Krishna Park Infracon: