The Traffic Group (TTG), is working with commercial real estate developer John Meeder of Meeder Development Corporation to develop the first robotic parking garage in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Traffic Group is one of the nation’s foremost traffic engineering and transportation planning firms, and has been leading the charge nationally on the development of automated and robotic parking solutions.

Meeder intends to build a four-to-five story high robotic parking system for 55 cars – a first for the city – as part of a larger redevelopment project, Christian Street Court. The robotic parking garage is expected to be operational within the next two years.

“Robotic parking technology has been tested and proven in Europe, and is now ready to leap onto the stage in large urban centers in the U.S.,” says Wes Guckert, PTP, President, The Traffic Group.

Continues Guckert, “Working closely with system manufacturers, we will provide project pro forma, queuing analysis (to determine the number of bays and lifts needed for maximum efficiency), and conceptual designs for the Lancaster garage.”

The Lancaster robotic parkingsystem will allow drivers to leave his or her car inside a safe, well-lit entrance area and technology takes the car from there. Hydraulic and mechanical lifters move the car up, down, and sideways to an available space that is significantly smaller than a normal parking space.

Automated and robotic garages use the same philosophy and technology that has turned warehouses at Amazon, FedEx, and UPS into models of efficiency. Robotic parking garages reduce the building footprint and energy consumption, save operating costs, reduce pollutants, increase rentable floor space, and can add LEED points to a project. They also provide increased personal safety and security for users who no longer have to wander alone through an intimidating maze of parking spaces.

FOor building owners, robotic and automated parking means substantial savings on operating costs and an increase in rentable floor space. Construction costs for robotic garages range from $18,000-$25,000 per space, but building owners routinely recoup their investment. This is due primarily to the smaller physical footprint for a robotic lot – at typically half the size of a conventional garage, land savings costs can be 30-50 percent less while taxes are substantially lower.

Building owners can also generate added revenue from additional vehicle parking and lower operations and maintenance costs per parking space per year. Because the garage does not need to accommodate pedestrians, for example, energy costs for lighting, heating, air conditioning, and elevators are non-existent. Similarly, because the entire garage is entirely automated, there are no costs for on-site parking attendants.