To address the congestion, pollution, and chaos that parking demand was creating in Mexico City’s downtown area, the Reforma 180 building has invested $12 million USD in what is being described as the largest robotic parking system in North America.
According to Ulrich Thoma, the general manager of Industrias Norm, the Mexican company that built the 700-vehicle parking lot, the structure was inspired by German models. The system uses 30% less space than a conventional garage because it has no ramps, elevators or escalators, and is controlled by a single human operator.
This cutting-edge garage utilizes 33 robotic transporters to move vehicles, which enter by means of five entry and reception booths that issue parking tickets. Once inside, the vehicle is parked by one of the robotic transporters. Upon the driver’s return, the ticket is read by a sensor and the car is returned to its owner. Average wait time, Thoma said, is about four minutes.
In addition to saving time and reducing maintenance and labor costs, the robotic system can save drivers 83% of the fuel costs incurred in searching for a parking place in a conventional garage, while reducing toxic emissions by 68% and carbon dioxide by 83%.
The system, which began operating three months ago, can be modified to suit almost any type of building, including commercial shopping centers, Thoma said. He called upon city authorities to asses the advantages of using this type of parking system in the capital, saying that it could be a way to deal with the large number of vehicles in Mexico City, which already exceeds 7 million.
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