Print 24 comment(s) - last by otispunkmeyer.. on Jan 1 at 8:48 AM

  (Source: FastCompany)
Automated underground bike parking in Japan

Bicycle use is an important part of daily life in Japan; crowded conditions make car use expensive and less convenient than in the west. Finding a place to park your vehicle close to home can involve large monthly fees, and you will be charged a fee every time you use the national highway system.

Bicycles are used for daily grocery shopping, for transporting children, and for getting to the all important train station. Many stations have large bicycle parking lots that can house thousands of bikes and charge a monthly fee for parking. Often the bicycles are parked by side by side up to as many as will fit. It is an expensive space consuming solution for the need for parking. These parking facilities are often manned by 3 to 4 people resulting in a higher monthly fee to pay for their wages.

In response to the need for a better way to park bicycles Giken has developed a multi-tiered storage facility that takes in your bicycle at an automated kiosk and stores it in an underground rotating parking system. According to FastCompany, the service costs 2,600 Yen ($29 USD) per month. A video of the service in action can be seen as a YouTube link in the FastCompany article.

Cost wise, the service is about the same as a traditional parking system, but the main advantage for the user is the quick and labor less retrieval of their bicycle. Normally you would need to walk in to the parking facility and find your bicycle among the hundreds of identical bikes. The space savings are also considerable when compared to a traditional bicycle parking area.

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By AnnihilatorX on 12/29/2008 10:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
iRobot style car parking system for bikes? I like it.

The capital cost of building such a sophisticated system, should at least be aided by the land ownership cost saved by having a compact underground system. I can imagine once they sell enough contracts, the price should go down or even become free to the users (paid by shopping malls).

RE: Cost
By austinag on 12/29/2008 10:42:49 AM , Rating: 2
The maintenance on that thing looks terrifying. Can you imagine what would have to be done the first time somebody parks a POS in there that falls apart while down in the bowls of the system? Yikes.

RE: Cost
By Murloc on 12/29/2008 1:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
and what if you lose your card?

RE: Cost
By PrimarchLion on 12/29/2008 6:00:08 PM , Rating: 2
what if your water bottle falls off your bike?

RE: Cost
By TimberJon on 12/29/2008 10:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
Still waiting for the same parking system for my car.

RE: Cost
By xsilver on 12/29/2008 6:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Cost
By bkslopper on 12/30/2008 6:09:24 AM , Rating: 2
My boss married a Japanese woman while he was in the service. He travels there to see the in-laws now and then. He's already parked his car in one of these. Technology sometimes blows my mind.

RE: Cost
By otispunkmeyer on 1/1/2009 8:48:24 AM , Rating: 2
japan already have similar automated parking systems for their multistory car parks. theyre like miles ahead of us!!

RE: Cost
By BruceLeet on 12/29/2008 12:39:08 PM , Rating: 5
iRobot? lol

I, Robot

RE: Cost
By Chocobollz on 12/29/2008 1:42:56 PM , Rating: 2
BruceLeet? lol

I'm BrandonLeet :p

By Spivonious on 12/29/2008 10:12:52 AM , Rating: 2
Neat idea, but $29 to park your bike?

RE: Wow
By Spivonious on 12/29/2008 10:14:33 AM , Rating: 2
Nevermind, I read the source article and discovered it's $29/month. That's a big piece of info missing from the DT article.

RE: Wow
By amanojaku on 12/29/2008 10:44:16 AM , Rating: 2
I hate to sound like a jerk, but one of the most common mistakes people make is criticizing the articles without reading the links. Yes, the articles should provide more detail, but links serve that purpose. DT isn't a replacement for other news outlets (yet?) It's more like a portal. Other people would disagree, but I rarely read a DT article without having to refer to the original source.

RE: Wow
By 16nm on 12/29/2008 10:52:50 AM , Rating: 2
Reading between the lines... You're taking a stab at Dailytech with this comment, right?

RE: Wow
By Mitch101 on 12/29/2008 11:23:09 AM , Rating: 3
As opposed to some who read the headline then start commenting without reading any of the article.

Or the apparent overabundance of English majors who traverse the web only to grade the articles on their grammar/spelling.

I commend you on your literacy.

RE: Wow
By mikecel79 on 12/29/2008 12:13:23 PM , Rating: 3
When most of the links go to other DT articles that are rarely ever relevant to the current article why should I click on the links? Most of the time the other article has nothing to do with the current one.

This article is an exception to the norm with the links but if you post information from other articles it needs to be correct. Stating the cost was $29 and leaving out per month makes the statement factually wrong. I'm glad he corrected it already but initially the OP had a right to point this out.

RE: Wow
By stonemetal on 12/30/2008 10:06:12 AM , Rating: 2
This article is an exception to the norm with the links but if you post information from other articles it needs to be correct. Stating the cost was $29 and leaving out per month makes the statement factually wrong.

It doesn't make the article factually wrong it makes the assumptions you made about the article factually wrong. It said the service cost $29, it didn't specify if that was per month, per year, per lifetime, per use. I assumed it was per month because that is the kind of parking rental I have seen. If he had said the cost was 29 with out specifying dollars euros or yen would it have been factually wrong? No it would have been unspecified and need clarification for it to make sense.

RE: Wow
By Spivonious on 12/29/2008 11:16:00 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks for adding this info in, Stephen.

RE: Wow
By Gul Westfale on 12/29/2008 2:14:17 PM , Rating: 1
i liek tehm chappaneese bisycles, and zey r realy cheep for 29 dolar but WEHRE IN CROUDED TOKIO WOOD U PARK TEHM OMG!!

I don't get it...
By MBlueD on 12/29/2008 11:46:40 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure I understand how this works (actually I'm pretty sure I don't). So the bikes are parked in a 'rotating wheel'. I'm assuming from the pictures that this is more like a spiral (since it's going several bike-levels deep) and bikes get pushed alongside it to the bottom.
So I park my bike, and then ten more gents park theirs, and I come back to reclaim mine. How does it get picked up ? Where do the bikes that came after it go?
In other words, I can see this working in a first-in last-out arrangement, but not in random access. Help me...

RE: I don't get it...
By akugami on 12/29/2008 12:37:40 PM , Rating: 4

Some better pictures.

My guess is, when you park your bike, you're issued a ticket (one time use) or have a membership card. It'll know which bike is yours by the ticket/card you use to retrieve your bike. The system would simply park bikes on circular platforms with each bike placed on a rack position on those platforms. An arm or other device used to latch onto the bike or the platform the bike is sitting on comes down, pulls the specific rack number corresponding to your bike and lifts it up to the top when you want your bike.

RE: I don't get it...
By Fritzr on 12/29/2008 9:32:02 PM , Rating: 2
I's a jukebox ... you put your bike in the entry slot, pay your fee and receive a coded card (day parking) or use your permanent card (like a debit card for monthly parking) When all that is done, the gate closes and the jukebox's fetch arm puts your bike in the designated slot.

To get your bike back you use your coded card to tell the equipment which bike to fetch. the spindle spins, the fetch arm drops to the correct level, the bike is pulled out and moved to the entry slot ... user pulls bike out & rides away.

Most likely the bike will be placed in a "sleeve" in the entry slot & it is that "sleeve" that will be moving around in the jukebox innards ... bike falls apart or things fall out of bags or off frame and they will be on the floor under the bike when you get it out. Those are engineering details & will likely have many solutions.

All your bikes are belong to us?
By dice1111 on 12/29/2008 10:16:10 AM , Rating: 2
Wow... Did I just see an "All your base are belong to us" picture snuck into the video on that link?

I'm not too sure the owners of the system would be too happy about that. It really demotes their professionalism...

Good idea though. I hope none of the bike fall inside or get caught on each other, I'd hate to have to untangle a mess of that magnatude.

By Integral9 on 12/29/2008 1:36:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah. Great idea!, right up until my pegs jam up the machine. Lucky.

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