Robo-garage: Valet-style service with no valets is coming to downtown Detroit

June 23, 2020, 7:52 PM

(Graphic: AUTOParkIt)

"Why do you still park like it's 1999?" a builder of automated garages asks in a commercial you can see below.

The Ohio company, AUTOParkIt, will install what sounds like robo-parking in the basement of a landmark that was the Free Press' home on West Lafayette Boulevard from 1925-98. The partnership with Bedrock Detroit is the firm's first Midwestern deal.

It will let office and residential tenants pull onto loading bays, leave their vehicles to be lifted, rotated and stored automatically in a rack structure. To leave, drivers tap a key fob or use a mobile app and the vehicle is moved automatically to the entry area. Tenants can speed delivery time by requesting it on the way down.

This above-ground example shows how cars are moved without drivers.

The underground garage will be in a cavernous pit where newspaper presses rolled decades ago.

Bedrock, Dan Gilbert's development division, is converting the six-story Albert Kahn-deisgned building with a 14-story tower into stores, offices and residential units -- a nearly $70-million project expected to be finished next year.

"By incorporating AUTOParkit's advanced mobility technologies with our plans for renovation, we were able to add a layer of parking that would have otherwise not been possible," Bedrock vice president Kevin Bopp says in a statement quoted by Crain's

There will be about 100 vehicle spaces, including six with electric vehicle chargers.

An 80-second video showing how it works is above a one-minute commercial:

Read more:  Crain's Detroit Business

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