An automated (car) parking system (APS) is a mechanical system designed to minimize the area and/or volume required for parking cars. Like a multi-story parking garage, an APS provides parking for cars on multiple levels stacked vertically to maximize the number of parking spaces while minimizing land usage. The APS, however, utilizes a mechanical system to transport cars to and from parking spaces (rather than the driver) in order to eliminate much of the space wasted in a multi-story parking garage. While a multi-story parking garage is similar to multiple parking lots stacked vertically, an APS is more similar to an automated storage and retrieval system for cars. The paternoster (shown animated at the right) is an example of one of the earliest and most common types of APS.
APS are generically known by a variety of names, including:
- Automatic parking system (not to be confused with in-car parking guidance systems)
- Automated parking facility (APF)
- Automated vehicle storage & retrieval system (AVSRS)
- Car parking system
- Mechanical parking
- Robotic parking garage