An automated parking system is a mechanical device built inside a structure which automatically parks cars in a more efficient and easier way. These automated parking systems are inherently designed to be very efficient and effective. A common concern with automated systems is their overall reliability. With more moving parts than a traditional car park, automated systems would appear to be more susceptible to requiring maintenance. The reality though, is that automated parking systems are likely to be more reliable and require less maintenance than traditional car garages.
The traditional car garage is an ineffective design requiring drivers to drive through the building, locate a spot, park and then make their way to their destination. The process is reversed to on their way out. Space, which could be used to park cars, is consumed by moving vehicles, both in and out and by pedestrians requiring foot space to enter or exit the building. As a result of this consumption, traditional car parks can house significantly less parked cars reducing their efficiency and being more susceptible to accidents.
Automated parking systems are efficient. Requiring no foot traffic space and only minimal moving space to transport the car to and from its parking slot, an automated parking garage can house more parked cars and each parking space comes at a significantly reduced cost.
These parking systems have several moving parts which require machinery and electronics to operate. The reality of machinery and electronics is that eventually they will break. However, automated parking systems are designed to mitigate this issue by having redundancies built into the system. Redundancy is the application where two of the exact same items are functioning, meaning that if one of them goes down – for example a computer server, there is already a second computer server that has been running at the same time and while the first is repaired, the second can run as if nothing has occurred.
These redundancies typically come in twos; however some have as many as four backups. As a result of this intelligent design, uptime is typically upwards of 99.9%. This means that automated car parks are reliable perhaps beyond the reliability of traditional car parks where issues of construction, human traffic or even minor vehicular accidents can occur.
Service on automated systems usually requires being at least once per year by the manufacturers, and up to four times for heavy traffic car parks. Additionally, in places with cold weather, where heavy amounts of road salt is used, it is recommended that automated systems be cleaned daily of the salt as it can cause severe damage if not removed.
Overall, automated car parking systems are very reliable and it's even arguable that they may be more reliable that traditional parks as the redundancies and lack of vehicular and pedestrian traffic results in no outside complications.