An automated car parking is a mechanical system designed to minimize the area and / or volume required for parking cars. Like a multi-story parking garage, an automatic car parking provides parking for cars on multiple levels stacked vertically to maximize the number of parking spaces while minimizing land usage.
The automatic car parking, 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 automatic car parking is more similar to an automated storage and retrieval system for cars. The paternoster is an example of one of the earliest and most common types of automatic car parking.
All kind of automatic car parking take advantage of a common concept to decrease the area of parking spaces - removing the driver and passengers from the car before it is parked. With either fully automated or semi-automated automatic car parking, the car is driven up to an entry point to the automatic car parking and the driver and passengers exit the car.
The car is then moved automatically or semi-automatically (with some attendant action required) to its parking space.The space saving provided by the ACP, compared to the multi-story parking garage, is derived primarily from a significant reduction in space not directly related to the parking of the car.