Florida residential development boasts world’s largest AGV parking system

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US-based ParkPlus has announced the installation of the world’s largest subterranean automatic guided vehicle (AGV) parking system at a 18-storey luxury apartment complex in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

According to the company, the robotic parking system has reduced the amount of space and excavation required by half, when compared to conventional parking, thereby allowing above-ground space for higher yielding residential development.

“This is the largest AGV parking system of its kind in the world,” said Gary Astrup, CEO of ParkPlus Florida.

“It has eight AGVs that operate on the garage floor. The AGVs travel beneath vehicles parked on trays, pick them up, and transfer to parking spots.”

The beach-facing Paramount development has 95 luxury residential units and required at least two spaces per unit.

According to Dan Kodsi, CEO of The Royal Palm Companies, a conventional ramp garage would have used almost double the amount of space.

However, AGVs enabled the developer to reduce that space by almost half, parking 221 cars in approximately 50,000ft2 (4,645m2).

“We would have needed two floors of underground parking,” said Kodsi. “The proximity to the ocean created an issue with the water table. Instead of going two floors below sea level, this was not as expensive and time consuming.

“But really, it was less about saving money and more about being up-to-date on technology. We saw this as being the future. We’re developers, we’re going to be looking at more projects, and we thought this was a good time to start being ahead of the curve on where parking is headed.”

The AGV is a free roaming, battery operated omni-directional robotic device that lifts and transfers vehicles stored on trays. This technology is what drives the efficiency and performance of the system and eliminates the need for ramps and drive aisles.

Users of the system drop off and retrieve their vehicles from the loading bay area. Inside the loading bays, the cars’ dimensions are measured by lasers in real time. An AGV then transfers the car to the basement parking level on a vehicle lift.

It takes approximately four minutes to park or retrieve a vehicle. Retrieval of longer-term storage, where vehicles can be parked in tandem up to three cars deep, can take longer.

Multiple robots coordinate to shuffle vehicles to retrieve from long-term storage positions. Owners use the ParkPlus mobile app to call for their cars, and the car is ready and waiting when they get to the valet station.

“The system is smart,” added Gary Astrup. “It learns over time, it optimises and tends to park cars that are used more often in more accessible spaces. It can also be retrofitted into an existing garage, making limited spaces much more usable.”

To date, ParkPlus has completed 10 AGV parking projects and several more are either in planning or construction throughout the USA. The technology is EV-ready and has materials handling and military applications.

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