NY1 reported yesterday on the new automated parking garages opening up in New York, a system where a mechanized system takes your car and parks it in a compartment without the need of a parking attendant. The cars are stacked on top of one another in ‘contained areas’. The process takes under 3 minutes from drop off to your car being fully positioned and parked.
This system is not very new at all: Automated Parking Solutions installed this system very effectively at 1 York Street a few years ago, the infamous Enrique Norten designed condominium at the edge of Canal Street that recently broke a record for the sale of its penthouse for over $ 22million. The system stems from a company based on the Swiss/Italian border and is used extensively throughout Europe and the Far East. It is an extremely efficient system and cost effective too: you can park almost double the number of cars this way as opposed to the traditional way. It also minimizes the scratches and dings associated with the traditional parking garage.
This is the perfect example of how technology brings efficiencies to our world, but the human cost is obvious: with this machine the need for parking attendants is sharply reduced, again eliminating jobs just like self check out machines have done so throughout the world. These machines boost efficiencies and profits, and while they eliminate low paying jobs, they do create higher paying jobs as they require tech support. The message is clear: simple jobs requiring minimal education are being swallowed up by technologies and to truly address the jobs crisis we currently face, intense education is essential. The word is that tech-savvy staffing is the toughest to find right now. An investment in education and re-education is critical to a jobs recovery.
Another trend this system highlights is how space is being more and more efficiently utilized: Every square inch counts now, and the days of excessive, wasted space are over, especially in large cities where the cost of space is at a premium.