Looking East from Paramount Fort Lauderdale Beach, there is nothing but ocean between you and the Bahamas, 90 miles away. Ocean view is a high-value commodity in South Florida, and the developers of this 18-story luxury condominium made the most of their ocean frontage with a subterranean automated parking system by PARKPLUS, allowing above-ground space for higher yielding residential development . The robotic parking system reduced the amount of space and excavation required by half, when compared to traditional parking.

“This is the largest Automatic Guided Vehicle parking system of its kind in the world,” explains Gary Astrup, CEO of PARKPLUS Florida. “It has eight AGV’s, autonomous robots that operate on the garage floor. The AGV’s travel beneath vehicles parked on trays, pick them up, and transfer to parking spots.”

The Paramount, situated on a fairly narrow property facing the beach, has 95 luxury residential units, and required at least two spaces per unit. A conventional ramp garage would use almost double the amount of space. AGVs allowed the developers to reduce that space by almost half, parking 221 cars in approximately 50,000 square feet.

“We would have needed two floors of underground parking,” recalls developer Dan Kodsi, CEO of The Royal Palm Companies. “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’s incredible to see the cars moving around on robots,” says Dan Kodsi.

AGV Storage

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 3 cars deep, can take a little 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,” points out Gary Astrup. “It learns over time, it optimizes 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.”

“As we celebrate our 50th year in business, PARKPLUS continues to push technological boundaries and lead innovation in the parking industry. Our AGV Automated Parking technology is now a proven, viable solution, with 10 completed AGV projects and several more in planning and construction throughout the United States,” says Paul Bates, Group President of PARKPLUS. “PARKPLUS is the only provider of AGV Automated Parking technology in the United States, and we are working on new developments to take our robotic AGVs to greater levels of autonomy. The AGV is unique amongst Automated Parking options; flexible and modular, the application can be grown or reduced based on demand, and applied to regular and irregular layouts. The technology is EV-ready and equipped for the growing demand of Electric Vehicles,” continues Paul Bates, “The AGV also has materials handling and military applications.”

PARKPLUS has opened 4 new offices in the United States in 2019. “PARKPLUS is committed to becoming your local provider, we bring 50 years of experience and proven technology to overcome parking challenges in high density urban metros”, states Paul Bates.