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

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