Automated Parking Design considerations – Part 2 – Vehicle Dimensions

Automated parking capacity and vehicle dimensions

Welcome to the second part of our Automated Parking System design Considerations series. In case you missed it, here is the first part.

As in any parking operations design, the parking capacity plays an important role in satisfying zoning requirements and the project’s needs. Automated Parking systems allow the project to meet those requirements and needs is a significantly smaller volume compared to other parking solutions,

But

Should the Automated Vehicle Storage & Retrieval system (AVSRS) handle all vehicle types?

Not always!  

Vehicle Dimensions

Uniformity in maximal vehicle dimensions improves performance. Although some AVSRS measure the dimensions of the vehicle and allow the allocation of tighter spaces for smaller vehicles, such allocations impose limitations on vehicle handling flexibility, thus reducing the overall performance.

Vehicle width and length – Uniform maximal length and width vehicle dimensions provide for a smaller, simpler (rectangular) parking structure. The AVSRS design should consider the maximal vehicle length and width which capture a high percentage of the market in the location of the project.


Typical maximal vehicle dimensions in the North American market are 19’ (L) x 7’-3” (W), resulting in just over 200 square-feet per vehicle in an Automated Parking System, compared to 350-400 Square-feet in conventional ramp garages. The smaller square-footage is achieved by eliminating ramps, turning radiuses and clearances to open doors.

Vehicle height – Reducing the overall AVSRS parking structure volume is achieved by accommodating different height classes of vehicles on different height parking levels. An AVSRS design should consider three height classes: Sedan, Mid-Size SUV and Full-Size SUV.


The entry/exit level is typically designed for the highest class since it has to allow all vehicles to go through it, and the rest of the parking levels should be designed to accommodate the vehicle height class distribution typical to the location of the project (for example, 40% Sedans, 30% Mid-Size SUVs and 30% Full-Size SUV).

Oversized vehicles – Providing a solution for the large sized vehicles (i.e. Hummer, larger trucks, ADA Van Accessible, etc.) outside the AVSRS contributes to reduction of overall structure volume.

Bottom Line

 Designing an AVSRS to accommodate the right vehicle dimensions:

  • Contributes to the performance of the system
  • Simplifies the design
  • Reduces the overall required volume, thus reducing the cost and duration to build it
  • Frees up volume for other income generating uses in the development

In the next newsletter we will address the topic of Automated Parking System components and their performance.

As always, you can leave your comments and ideas using our Contact Us section.  

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