March 23, 2023 By Michael Dorgan
A new self-parking garage operated by artificial intelligence (AI) has opened in the Ditmars section of Astoria — the first of its kind in the borough, according to its operators.
Drivers can park their vehicle on the ground floor of the garage, and then an automated moving platform takes it underground and positions it into a car space.
The artificial intelligence component of the system analyzes customer driving habits such as what time they typically pick up their vehicle on a given day.
The AI then instructs the system to move the vehicle to the front of the line so that when customers return to the garage, their cars will be faster to retrieve, according to RockFarmer Properties, the Little Neck-based developer behind The Rowan.
The high-tech garage also saves time for drivers in other ways since they don’t need to find a vacant space themselves, while it also means that more vehicles can be packed into the garage compared to regular garages.
“The future of parking has arrived in Queens,” said John Petras, the co-founder of RockFarmer Properties. “As a developer, I think the automated system is a game-changer.”
Petras said the design of the garage, coupled with its AI system, allowed RockFarmer to create an extra 50 vehicle spaces and increase retail space size at the property.
“It’s a huge advantage to know you can drive to your doctor’s appointment or shop for groceries without having to worry about public transportation or paying for a taxi. We are excited to see how the system changes people’s habits; it really revolutionizes parking.”
Petras also said that vehicles are also safe from being dented or hit by other vehicles since they are all assigned an exclusive platform and are not driven by anyone. The AI system is designed by U-tron, a New Jersey-based parking solutions company.
Drivers park their vehicles on a platform in the parking bay, where the car is then automatically scanned and measured to determine its size and shape.
The vehicle is then transferred via the platform to its designated parking space via an automated lift.
Drivers then use an app or an electronic ticket system at a kiosk to request and retrieve their vehicle. The automated mechanism then returns the car to one of two parking bays at the garage. The bays are located at the rear of The Rowan.
The garage is open 24/7 and comes with round-the-clock video surveillance while vehicles are also safeguarded from elements, such as snow, rain, wind and extreme temperatures, Petras said. The automated system means that less fuel is also used during parking, he said.
GGMC Parking, a Manhattan-based parking garage provider, is managing and operating the automated garage. The company has more than 20 locations throughout the city.
GGMC Parking is offering a special introductory rate of $149.00 on all monthly contracts signed through May 31. For more information, call (929) 349-6515 or email [email protected].