Birmingham & Black Country

Cars 'park themselves' in Birmingham Cube complex

A new car park in Birmingham has a sophisticated £2m robotic system that enables cars to park themselves.

The car park is 20m (65ft) below canal-side office and apartment development the Cube and access is hampered by nearby shops and bars, bosses said.

Instead, motorists drive into a lift and their vehicle is taken down, spun around and placed in an empty bay.

It is thought to be one of only two systems like it in the world that uses the same technology.

Key fobs identify each car and a screen shows which level they are on when drivers swipe them.

'Designated user'

Neil Edginton, from the Cube, which joins the side of the Mailbox development, said an automatic system was necessary.

"The Cube car park is 20m below ground, so we'd have a long ramp to get to it which would destroy all of the retail and restaurant frontages," he said.

"So that led us to more of an automatic system where a car is taken away by a lift for you."

Andrew Smith, from WOHR Car Parking Systems, the German company behind the design, said the technology would not forget where it put cars.

"We can't foresee how that would happen because each person in this system is a designated user, they have their own fob."

The Cube development, marketed as having apartments, offices, a hotel, shops, cafe bars and a rooftop restaurant, went into administration earlier this year during final stages of construction, but has since been completed and opened.

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