x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Robot solution to Abu Dhabi's parking

Difficulty in finding a parking space for your car in the capital may soon be a thing of the past.

Abu Dhabi // Difficulty in finding a parking space for your car in the capital may soon be a thing of the past. The Department of Transport is seeking bids to construct two "robotic car parks". 

The first will be near the Abu Dhabi Commercial Properties building in the Tourist Club Area, the second near the Adnoc on Salam Street. In a robotic system, the driver parks the car on a platform, which then takes it to space-efficient shelving.

The department said the contracts should be final by the end of the year, but no date for completion of the projects was given. Robotic, fully automated car parks were the unofficial theme of this year's Middle East Parking Symposium. Much of the prime floor space and many of the largest booths were taken up by companies selling these systems. Robotic Parking Systems was one such company. The chief operating officer, Constantin Haag, explained it is the space-saving aspect of robotic parking that was most appealing. "You can get twice the amount of cars in the same space used by conventional car parks," he said. He added that this is particularly appealing for a place like Abu Dhabi's densely populated centre, where the only available space for parking seems to be underground.

But digging is expensive and disruptive, he said, adding that 1,000 cars could be stored in two or three floors in an automated garage. A conventional garage would need three to five floors for 1,000 cars. His company already has one automatic car park in operation in the country at Ibn Battuta Mall. 

mclain@thenational.ae