Video: Robots now park cars in Dubai (and wash them too)

Parking woes in Dubai and fines for flouting rules is an annoyance for many. No one likes wandering around in circles at the parking lot, waiting to find an empty spot.

The new-age solution – automated robotic parking – has been available in Dubai for a few months now, and the service is picking up in the few areas that it is currently available in, with MAG Royal Solutions (MRS), the company behind the evolutionary parking robot, claiming that it will soon be available in many more areas in Dubai, as well as in other UAE emirates and across the Gulf region.

“We already have two working systems in Dubai. The latest is in the Emirates Financial Towers in DIFC area. This is a twin tower office building with retail. We have many upcoming plans for Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and the Gulf region,” Rabih Aghnatios, Technical Manager at MRS, told Emirates 24|7.

This new concept not only parks the car for you (even when you are not inside the vehicle), but also washes and cleans it for you if you require it.

Launched in Dubai by MRS, this robotic or automated parking system, works on sophisticated European and American engineering technology and innovation, of course complimented by local experience.

And for those who are new to this concept, one piece of advice is – don’t get overwhelmed. Complicated it may sound, it is very easy and completely safe system.

Aghnatios explains the entire process in two easy steps – first being the parking process and then the retrieval process.

To park the car, “simply drive towards the automated parking garage. Traffic signals are located in front of the entry gates/terminals. If the signal is green, it means the gate is ready to accept a car.”

Once you get the go-ahead sign (the green light) “drive into of the terminals/gates. Multiple automatic sensors ensure that the car is properly positioned for parking. Get out and lock the car and take the parking card from the kiosk in front of the gate and walk away. You get premium valet parking without the valet. The Automated Parking System does the rest. The car is picked up by the computerised machinery and lifts that will safely place it inside the facility,” explains the manager at MRS.

The retrieval process is also as simple. “Enter the waiting area or lobby near the terminal/gates. Insert the parking card into one the kiosks or payment machines. Pay the parking fees. The screen in front of you will display the exit terminal/gate where the car can be retrieved. The Automated Parking System swiftly delivers the car in three minutes or less. The System’s machinery delivers the car facing forward so that it is safe and easy to exit the garage. Get into the car in the exit terminal and drive away. You can send your retrieval request as well by means of SMS or phone call from your office of home,” Aghnatios explains.

The best part of the deal is that such a sophisticated and hassle-free service comes at a cost which we are used to paying at the normal open parking lots in the city, where sweltering in the heat is definitely irritating.

“Charges can vary between Dh10 and Dh20 per hour, which are very logical,” Aghnatios explains, and adds that you don’t have to bother about the number of hours as the car can be parked for long periods, as required.

“We also have long-term parking facility. The system is very flexible and evolutionary,” he adds.

Since the concept is relatively new, there are only certain pockets in the city where this service is available.

Advantages of automated parking

Automated Parking systems allow vehicles to be stored without human intervention and allow for much greater vehicle density within a parking facility. It is not only more space, but rather, more intelligence, which will solve the parking problems of today and those of tomorrow. By consuming roughly half the space of a conventional parking garage, automated parking brings value to real estate development projects in any of the following ways:

• Maximising the use of the available space.

• Reducing time and energy it takes to find an empty parking slot.     

• Increasing the value of parking facility.

• Secure and safe: No door dings, vandalism or theft of vehicle contents.

• Cleaner, greener and eco-friendly: No carbon emissions since cars are turned off once in the garage, hence saving thousands of petrol litres over a period of time.

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