View Full Version : German firm "Wöhr" Makes Incredible Automated Carports

Apr 8, 2004, 12:31 AM
I came across this recently and my jaw just dropped. There are only two of these types of automated parking garages in America - what a shame. This is, to me, a gadget freak, simply amazing...what engineering!!

The story about one of the automated parking garages that Wöhr installed in Washington, DC:


Wöhr's web site:

(when you get there, click on "Projects" and then choose "Public Car Parks" and then look for the presentation and play it. This stuff blows me away.) :eek:

Apr 8, 2004, 06:30 PM
I saw some garages like this in Japan several years ago, and I don't think they were new at all. Somewhat less slick and German looking, though--they were just a vertical chain of hanging car holders in a tall, skinny building. Put your car into a slot at the bottom, and up it goes into the wheel. rotate the thing around to bring it back.

That one wasn't automated, though, so no cool keycard retreival (no tipping, either, since it's Japan).

Apr 8, 2004, 06:38 PM
yeah, i really don't understand why these aren't used more... our company, for instance, could reduce about two acres of parking into one portion of the lot, selling that valuable real estate, more than paying for such a device.

IIRC, the first one was actually designed and built in the 50s and 60s... i think two were built, only two in the world until Japan started using them in the 80s and 90s. Typically, despite it being invented in America, we only seriously hear about them 50 years later.

I don't trust machines very much, humans have a poor track record with robotics thusfar, but i'd still trust it more than a valet... probably more than simply driving my car through the lot period, with idiots flying around and not paying attention...


Apr 8, 2004, 08:56 PM
ah, but what does it cost to build, and more importantly, what does it cost to maintain?

Apr 8, 2004, 10:12 PM
I can just see the oil and gas dripping from my old truck onto a nice new sports car below.

Apr 9, 2004, 01:12 AM
I can just see the oil and gas dripping from my old truck onto a nice new sports car below.

Each car is on its own "plate" that covers the bottom of the car entirely. Given the thoughtful engineering that went into these systems, I'm sure they gave that consideration. Did you take a look at the animation?

Apr 9, 2004, 11:54 AM
I saw these in an architecture magazine a few years ago. A company, Volkswagon maybe, was setting up its new headquarters in germany and they were using two of the car display towers. The display towers are not quite as automated. The process of placing the cars is automated, but not quite as efficient and compact as with the parksafe units.

Apr 9, 2004, 12:46 PM
Yes, Volkswagen's new Dresden plant is a "transparent factory", and the tower is where the finished cars are stored. It's where they make their flagship automobile, the Phaeton. Customers can actually come into the showroom, custom order their Phaeton (I want this color with this interior with this engine, etc.) then WATCH their car being built. I first came across the news of the Phaeton here, I think, on MacRumors.com...I then saw the car at our auto show several months ago, and I went nuts. If I had that kind of money, I'd get it tomorrow. It takes luxury to a whole new level...and Volkswagen prices to a whole new level as well. :eek:

Apr 9, 2004, 01:03 PM
I like the phaeton, but i did not get quite as excited as you seem to have. My favorite thing about it is the W12 engine.

Architectural record had a great artical about it when they were building it. Thanks for clarifying exactly what they were going to use the towers for. I just remembered seeing them, but didn't remember they were to store the finished cars. It is really an amazing plant. I am going to have to go back through my collection and find that issue.

Apr 9, 2004, 04:15 PM
i remember something very similar in downtown Taipei. Except you drive foward and then back into one of 4 spaces. When you leave, you pull your car up, and sensors on the floor call the lift, and you drive in, and when all the sensors go green, you hit the go button and the lift starts down.