Transportation is in the midst of unprecedented changes. New vehicles are being equipped with automated parallel parking, forward collision detection, lane departure sensing and even teen driver safety assistance. Ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have turned the conventional taxi business on its head. The increase of electric vehicles (EV) is increasing the demand for charging stations and hybrids and EVs are now commonplace in many major cities. Autonomous vehicles are on the horizon. though it is difficult to predict market acceptance and adoption. Truck and bus fleets are transitioning from diesel and gasoline to compressed natural gas (CNG) and e-vehicles.
These transportation changes are having a monumental impact on commercial property development, which is also faced with escalating costs and increased densification. Parking is normally one of the first hurdles a developer must solve on the journey to completing a successful project. Inefficient parking contributes to traffic congestion, wasteful land use and air pollution.
Siemens and AUTOParkit have formed a partnership to bring parking into the 21st century. The AUTOParkit™ System is a fully automated parking solution that can achieve 2:1 efficiency over a conventional approach. It reduces parking-related fuel consumption by 83% and carbon emissions by 82%. AUTOParkit using Siemens automation controls is approximately the same cost as a traditional ramped parking structure. However, it reduces operating costs by 40%, and provides a convenient and safe valet service without the valet.
INclave, a new subterranean mixed-use development near Los Angeles in Marina del Rey, CA highlights the innovative nature of a fully automated parking garage. Going below ground with a traditional approach would have required a depth of around 50 feet. This made the entire project unworkable due to a high water table. The AUTOParkit System required only 16 feet. This not only made the project feasible, it also saved over a million dollars in excavation, de-watering and shoring costs.
The AUTOParkit System at INclave features three street-level load bays for vehicle drop-off and pick-up locations, two high-speed lifts to transport vehicles vertically, and turntables to simplify entry and exit for vehicles. Other highlights include ten automated electric vehicle charging stalls and automated bicycle storage. The structure has a footprint the size of a football field, can hold 282 vehicles and is made up of two levels. The entire fully automated parking system is designed, fabricated, installed and commissioned by Dasher Lawless Automation, the USA-based OEM of AUTOParkit for developer Creative Office Properties. Siemens provides a full range of automation, switch gear and power distribution systems for both the building and AUTOParkit.
Changing the User Experience
Retrieval times for tenants and guests range between 40 and 180 seconds. No more driving from one floor to another while wasting fuel and time looking for an empty spot followed by a long walk to the elevator and then out to the street. The driver simply pulls into a load bay at the front of the building, answers a few questions on a touch screen or mobile phone and leaves. The system automatically parks the car. When drivers request their vehicles, they have already been rotated 180° and are returned to an available load bay in seconds.
Siemens began working with AUTOParkit on the Helms Bakery project in Los Angeles. At that time, Siemens only provided the SCADA system software with other suppliers providing the balance of electrical, electronic and automation hardware and software. Due to the success of that system and the relationship forged with AUTOParkit, Siemens earned the opportunity to convert the controls to a Siemens-based solution for INclave. This included switchgear, breaker panels, breakers, disconnects, contactors, relays, power supplies, 17 PLCs, DIO, HMI, variable frequency drives, safety systems, rack-mounted PCs, switches, routers, cabling, RFID systems, Key FOB readers, and simulation software. All Siemens equipment is built to the UL508A Standard, and electrical enclosures rated for NEMA 4 and IP66.
The AUTOParkit System at INclave is a collection of a dozen different types of subsystems that are orchestrated together leveraging Siemens controls hardware and software to efficiently park and retrieve vehicles. Each intelligent subsystem is run by a dedicated Siemens PLC to increase the reliability, independence and performance.
There is little doubt that the vehicles of the future will be quite different from those used today. Sustainability initiatives are leading many cities such as Copenhagen, Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City, and countries such as Norway, France and UK to mandate an end to diesel and gasoline vehicles within a decade, or less in some cases. Driverless technology is making great strides. These vehicles can be seen on many roads as pilot projects iron out the kinks and help advance the state-of-the-art in radar, LiDAR and cameras for autonomous transport.
But whatever the coming years unfold, the combination of Siemens’ continuous stream of innovate products and the AUTOParkit modular, scalable architecture offers adaptability and flexibility to accommodate shifting markets. The provision of electric charging stalls, for example, fulfills immediate needs required by the city of Los Angeles which remains the most advanced in the nation for EV charging stations. As EVs become even more popular, more charging stations can be added to the AUTOParkit System at INclave to satisfy demand. AUTOParkit is even capable of parking bicycles, storage containers and storing/retrieving surf boards, kayaks and canoes.
For an even more radical shift, consider the fact that most vehicles are only being used less than 20% of the time in any given day, and many much less. This could lead to a transportation system that leverages centralized and autonomous vehicles. If that becomes a reality, parking structures such as the AUTOParkit System at INclave could house a large collection of automated vehicles that are available for neighborhood use and stored in a centralized garage. A driverless vehicle would drop off passengers at their houses and return to the parking garage until needed again. Siemens stands ready to work with pioneers/innovators such as AUTOParkit with automation technology to meet evolving market requirements.Have an Inquiry for Siemens about this article? Click Here >>