“It's basically a vending machine for cars,” Ari Milstein, executive director of Automotion Parking, told The Daily News of the giant, robot-controlled parking garage that will be breaking ground next week in Brooklyn. Automotion was chosen by the city to design and build the futuristic new lot, which will sit underneath Willoughby Square Park. A bit reminiscent of the human-farming scene from the Matrix, the $35 million garage will be able to pack nearly 700 cars into a very compact space and shuffle them using robots so that virtually no human staff is needed.
The Willoughby Square parking garage will delve 37 feet underground and will be able to accommodate 697 cars on five levels. Since it will be subterranean, the lot won’t take up valuable city land, and a park with grass, trees and picnic areas will sit atop it, disguising the fact that it’s even there. Although NYC has been making strides towards reducing car usage, supporters of the garage say that it’s necessary because of the various new constructions that have been going up in the Downtown Brooklyn area. When complete, the new Automotion garage will reduce pollution compared to a regular lot because it will be able to move vehicles around the lot without leaving them idling.
In order to park your car at the Willoughby Square garage, you would simply drive it on top of a large pallet, take a ticket and then get out. After that, a robot will lower your car underground, where it will be forklifted into an open slot. When you need to pick your car up, the robot will retrieve it for you using your ticket.
The robotic garage is expected to break ground on August 1.