Now if they can just invent driverless cars!
Brooklyn will finally realize the glorious parking-hassle-free future long promised in “The Jetsons,” “Knight Rider,” and to a vastly lesser extent “Wall-E” when a swanky new Clinton Hill condo building opens the borough’s first fully-automated garage, where residents can just drop off their car at the door and let machines do all the hard work, according to the puny human in charge.
“Everyone gets the best spot,” said Daniel McCrossin, operations manager for AutoMotion Parking Systems, the company that installed and operates the garage at the soon-to-open Waverly. “You don’t have to drive around looking for a parking space, an attendant isn’t driving, no one is getting in your car.”
The entire parking process at the 32-car garage in the 48-unit building on Waverly Avenue and Fulton Street takes about two minutes.
Motorists drive their cars onto a plate while the system uses lasers to measure their vehicle, then they hop out and go about their days while the machine moves the plate to an empty spot. When residents want to retrieve their rides, they just scan a card and it is delivered right back.
There are some disadvantages to relying on robots over human beings — other than the very real fear that they will eventually gain consciousness and enact revenge on mankind for enslaving them as parking attendants, McCrossin admits the system can break down and cars have gotten stuck. But the company tries to stay ahead of any problems by scanning the entire system for issues every minute, he says.
The pricey carports aren’t just perks for residents, he says — developers are increasingly bowing down to their robot-parking overlords because the system takes up a third of the space of a regular garage.
In the future, all cars will be parked by robots, McCrossin predicts — sure, people think it’s confusing an unreliable now, but they said the same thing about automatic teller machines.
“When they first had ATM machines there were people standing there to explain it, but now they just use it,” he said.
And in the not-too-distant future, everyone will be able to experience this brave new world first-hand — AutoMotion is building a 700-space garage underneath Downtown’s long-awaited Willoughby Square park on Willoughby Street between Gold and Duffield streets.
Residents are expected to start moving into the Waverly early this year, according to a spokeswoman for the developer. She wouldn’t disclose how much the spaces in the parking garage will cost, but said the rates will be at or below those of other garages in the area.