US20070098528A1 - System and method for parking vehicles - Google Patents

System and method for parking vehicles Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070098528A1
US20070098528A1 US11/259,362 US25936205A US2007098528A1 US 20070098528 A1 US20070098528 A1 US 20070098528A1 US 25936205 A US25936205 A US 25936205A US 2007098528 A1 US2007098528 A1 US 2007098528A1
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parking
platform
vehicle
multiple
controller
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US11/259,362
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Arie Perry
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Israel Aerospace Ind Ltd
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Israel Aircraft Ind Ltd
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Assigned to ISRAEL AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES LTD. reassignment ISRAEL AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES LTD. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: PERRY, ARIE
Assigned to ISRAEL AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES LTD. reassignment ISRAEL AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES LTD. CHANGE OF NAME (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ISRAEL AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES LTD.
Publication of US20070098528A1 publication Critical patent/US20070098528A1/en
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H6/00Buildings for parking cars, rolling stock, aircraft, vessels or like vehicles, e.g. garages
    • E04H6/08Garages for many vehicles
    • E04H6/12Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles
    • E04H6/18Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles with means for transport in vertical direction only or independently in vertical and horizontal directions
    • E04H6/22Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles with means for transport in vertical direction only or independently in vertical and horizontal directions characterised by the use of movable platforms for horizontal transport, i.e. cars being permanently parked on palettes
    • E04H6/225Garages for many vehicles with mechanical means for shifting or lifting vehicles with means for transport in vertical direction only or independently in vertical and horizontal directions characterised by the use of movable platforms for horizontal transport, i.e. cars being permanently parked on palettes without transverse movement of the parking palette after leaving the transfer means

Abstract

A vehicle parking system that includes a vertical movement entity, a multiple storey structure whereas at least one storey defines multiple vehicle parking spaces as well as a vertical movement space through which the vertical movement entity moves, and a controller adapted to control at least sideway movements of multiple parking platforms within the structure. A parking platform that includes multiple platform translators adapted to perform sideway translation as well as straight translation, a platform controller adapted to receive platform movement instructions and in response to control a movement of the vehicle translators such as to translate the parking platform within multiple vehicle parking spaces defined in a multiple storey structure; whereas the parking platform is adapted to support a vehicle. A method for parking a vehicle, the method includes: determining a destination of a parking platform; controlling vertical movements and horizontal movement of the parking platform within a vertical movement space and multiple vehicle parking spaced defined within a multiple storey structure; the controlling comprises controlling sideway movements of the parking platform.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to systems and methods for parking vehicles.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Multi-directional robots can move in various directions. These robots usually use one of the following types of wheels: fixed standard wheel. Steered standard wheel, castor wheel, Stanford (Swedish) wheel and the like. Multi-directional steering techniques dramatically improve the mobility of robots.
  • Various examples of multi-directional robotic vehicles are illustrated in the following articles an U.S. patents: “Improved Mecanum Wheel Design for Omni-directional Robots”, O. Diegel, A. Badve, G. Bright, J. Potgieter, S. Tlale, Proceedings 2002 Australian Conference on Robotics and Automation, Auckland, 27-29 November 2002; “Compliant-linkage kinematic design for multi-degree-of-freedom mobile robots”, J. Borenstein, SPIE Symposium on Advances In Intelligent Systems, Mobile Robots VII, Boston, Mass. Nov. 15-20, 1992, pp. 344-351; U.S. Pat. No. 6,793,036 of Enmiji et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 5,186,270 of West.
  • The Center for Self-Organizing and Intelligent systems at the Utah State University designed various robotic vehicles that include a chassis and multiple smart wheels. A smart wheel includes a wheel that is powered by a drive motor. The wheel is connected to the motor via a driving element that is connected to a horizontal disk. The horizontal dist is rotated by a steering motor, thus allowing the wheel to rotate around a vertical rotational axis. The smart wheel also includes a slip ring that allows data and power to pass to the wheel without wires.
  • The development of big urban centers surrounded by substantial residential areas in the suburbs has resulted in a very high concentration of vehicles in the city centers during business hours and hence to a critical shortage in available parking space.
  • Parking space shortage has mandated, in Tokyo, Japan for example, a need to show proof of availability of parking space before a car can be purchased.
  • The number of cars per capita is over 0.650 in the USA and over 0.400 in Europe, and growing. Multi-storey and underground car parks are replacing surface parking but can hardly cope with the growing car population.
  • Modern multi-storey and underground car parks, include ways between floors, access roads, maneuvering spaces and exits and entrances, require an area of about 30-35 m2 per car. The needed space to park a car in conventional multi-storey and underground car parks is hence approximately 3-4 times the net area occupied by one car.
  • Shortage of parking space has resulted in regulations requiring appropriate parking space in new business and residential buildings thus substantially increasing costs of construction.
  • Automated parking lots are very complex and require a relatively large amount of mechanical accessories. These mechanical accessories usually include conveyors, lifts and the like. The cost of these mechanical accessories is relatively high and they require relatively intense maintenance efforts. In addition, these mechanical accessories are required to operate in a very accurate manner. Deviations can result in damages to the cars and can prevent the usage of empty parking space.
  • EP patent EP0868583B1 titled “Automatic car park” illustrates a complex car park that includes multiple vertical conveyors, pallets and the like.
  • U.S. patent application publication No. 2004/0071532 of Valli titled “Carriage for the horizontal transfer of motor vehicles in automatic mechanical car parks” describes a highly complex carriage capable of lifting a car, that is used to handling a vehicle between a parking bay to a handling platform.
  • PCT patent application publication serial number WO2005/059276A1 titled “Trolley and parking system using the same” describes a highly complex trolley for conveying a car backward or forwards and also for elevating the car.
  • There is a need to provide an efficient method and system for parking cars.
  • SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
  • A method for parking vehicles, a parking system and a parking platform are provided. Conveniently, vehicles are placed on parking platforms that are adapted to perform forward and sideway movements, and a controller controls the straight and sideway movements of the parking platforms as well as control a vertical movement entity that can lift or lower the parking platforms between multiple stories of a multiple storey structure.
  • A vehicle parking system that includes a vertical movement entity, a controller and a multiple storey structure. At least one storey defines multiple vehicle parking spaces as well as a vertical movement space through which the vertical movement entity moves. The controller is adapted to control various movements (including sideway movements) of multiple parking platforms within the structure.
  • Conveniently, each parking platform includes multiple independently controlled platform translators. The controller of the parking system is adapted to control a movement of each of the independently controlled platform translators.
  • Conveniently, the structure further includes at least one charging terminal for charging at least one parking platform. The charging can terminate after the battery of the parking platform is filled, after a predefined charging period, and the like.
  • Conveniently, the vertical movement entity is shaped such as to support multiple parking platforms.
  • Conveniently, a vehicle parking area is slightly bigger than an area of a parking platform. Conveniently, an area of a storey adapted to support K vehicles substantially equals a vertical movement area and K vehicle parking areas.
  • Conveniently, the system includes one or more central controllers that wirelessly control the movements of the multiple parking platforms. Conveniently, the system includes an interface for receiving requests for parking a vehicle within the structure.
  • According to an embodiment of the invention a parking platform is provided. The parking platform includes multiple platform translators and a platform controller. The platform translator is adapted to perform sideway translation as well as straight translation. The platform controller is adapted to receive platform movement instructions and in response to control a movement of the vehicle translators such as to translate the vehicle support platform within multiple vehicle parking spaces defined in a structure. The platform includes an upper surface that can support a vehicle.
  • Conveniently, that parking platform includes at least one proximity sensor adapted to estimate the proximity of the parking platform to foreign objects.
  • Conveniently, the parking platform includes at least one rechargeable battery and a recharge interface.
  • According to an embodiment of the invention a method for parking a vehicle is provided. The method includes: (i) determining a destination of a parking platform; and (ii) controlling vertical movements and horizontal movements of the parking platform within a vertical movement space and multiple vehicle parking spaces defined within a multiple storey structure. The controlling includes controlling sideway movements (and optionally straight movements) of the parking platform.
  • Conveniently, the controlling includes controlling the movements of each of independently controlled platform translators of multiple parking platforms.
  • Conveniently, the method includes charging at least one parking platform.
  • Conveniently, the controlling includes controlling the movements of multiple parking platforms within multiple vehicle parking spaces that are characterized by a vehicle parking area that is slightly bigger than the size of a parking platform.
  • Conveniently, the controlling includes wirelessly transmitting signals from a controller to the multiple parking platforms.
  • Conveniently, the determining is preceded by a stage of receiving requests for parking a vehicle within the structure.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The present invention will be understood and appreciated more fully from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a vehicle parking system, according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a first storey and a second storey of the system, according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a first storey and a second storey of the system, according to another embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a second storey of the parking structure, and multiple parking platforms, according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIGS. 5A-5C illustrate various stages in a parking session, according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIGS. 6A-6E illustrate various stages in a vehicle retrieval session, according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a parking platform, according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 8 illustrates a parking platform, according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 9 illustrates platform translators;
  • FIG. 10 illustrates a controller, according to an embodiment of the invention; and
  • FIG. 11 is a flow chart of a method for parking vehicles, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The illustrated systems and methods utilize highly maneuverable parking platforms that can maneuver within a relatively small space. Accordingly, the area allocated for parking vehicles can be reduced. Especially, maneuvering spaces are reduced to about 10% of the overall area of a storey of the parking system.
  • The methods and systems use a vertical movement element such as an elevator. In addition they use a single entrance/exit point, thus dramatically reducing the area consumed by ways between floors, passages, staircases, and access roads and for separate exits and entrances.
  • Conveniently, the system can include a simple, relatively cheap multiple storey structure. It can be made of various materials such as plastic, metal and the like. The system can also include re-chargers and vehicle holders/brakes.
  • Conveniently, the structure can be moved from place to place.
  • Conveniently, the structure can be increased by adding additional platforms, in a modular manner.
  • Conveniently, the height of the stories is adapted to the height of parked vehicles, thus a relatively low structure can be used to park many vehicles.
  • The system also includes a controller that controls the movements of the multiple parking platforms, the vertical movement element, and optionally controls the re-charging operations. The controlling can include sending detailed instructions to the various motors of a parking platform, or sending to the parking platform its destination.
  • According to an embodiment of the invention the system includes at least two (and conveniently at least three) stories (floors). Conveniently, a vertical movement space is surrounded by multiple vehicle parking spaces.
  • According to an embodiment of the invention the vertical movement element can support one parking platform (and a vehicle supported by the platform).
  • According to other embodiments of the invention the vertical movement element can support multiple parking platforms. Such a configuration can speed the parking/vehicle retrieval process.
  • Conveniently, each parking platform includes four wheels. Each wheel is independently connected to a computer controlled motor and drive mechanism. Said motor and drive mechanism can be aligned to promote forward and backward as well as side-wise motion of the platform. Each platform is also equipped with batteries to drive the motors and a control and communication boxes.
  • According to an embodiment of the invention the parking platforms can be used in existing parking lots. They are controlled by a controller that should be adapted to control at least the horizontal movements of the parking platforms.
  • According to an embodiments of the invention the parking platforms are positioned in most or all the parking spaces. Some of the parking platforms can be empty, while others convey vehicles.
  • According to an embodiment of the invention if one or more parking platforms are not functional they can be replaced by other parking platforms without hampering the over functionality of the parking system.
  • According to various embodiments of the invention the controller is adapted to manage the payment for the parking of vehicles within the system. This is not necessarily so as another device can take care of the payment issues.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a vehicle parking system 8, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • The system 8 includes three stories 10, 20 and 30, a controller 50 and an elevator shaft 40. It is noted that the number of stories within a parking system can differ from three.
  • Each storey defines nine spaces and most of these spaces are used for parking vehicles that are supported by self-propelled independently controlled parking platforms. The second and third stories include eight vehicle parking spaces and a vertical movement space.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates vehicle parking spaces 13, 16, 19, 24, 29, 31 and 37, as well as additional vehicle parking spaces that are not associated with numbers.
  • Vehicles enter and exit system 8 through entrance 40. When a vehicle is parked a vacant parking platform is positioned at an entrance space defined by entrance 40 and the first and second stories 10 and 20. The vehicle is positioned above the parking platform that then moves to elevator 42.
  • If the controller 50 determines that the vehicle should be parked in the first storey 10 then the parking platform, and optionally other parking platforms that are parked at the first storey 10 perform sideway and/or straight (backwards or forward) movements in order to position the parking platform at its destination—a selected vehicle parking space.
  • If the controller 50 determines that the vehicle should be parked at the second storey 20 or at the third storey 30 then the elevator 40 lifts the vehicle platform to the required storey and then it (and optionally other parking platforms parked at that storey) perform sideway and/or straight (backwards or forward) movements in order to position the parking platform at its destination—a selected vehicle parking space.
  • According to various embodiments of the invention the parking platforms can use any of the prior art multi-directional steering techniques. Various examples of parking platforms and especially of translation mechanisms are illustrated in FIG. 9.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a first storey 10 and a second storey 20 of system 8, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • First storey 10 defines an entrance space 41, a vertical movement space 51 and seven vehicle parking spaces 11-19 that surround the vertical movement space 51. The elevator 42 moves through multiple vertical movement spaces such as space 51 and space 52. Parking system 8 receives a vehicle via entrance 40 and drives across the entrance space to enter the vertical movement space 51. Seven vehicles can park (on seven parking platforms) at the first storey 10.
  • Second storey 20 defines a vertical movement space 52 and eight vehicle parking spaces 21-29 that surround the vertical movement space 52. Eight vehicles can park (on eight parking platforms) at the first storey 10.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a first storey 10′ and a second storey 20′ of a parking system, according to another embodiment of the invention.
  • Both stories differ from the corresponding stories of FIG. 3 by including twelve (and not eight) spaces per storey, and by including a double-size vertical movement space.
  • Thus, elevator 42 can convey two parking platforms at once. Two parking platforms can be located in elevator 42, thus speeding the parking of (or retrieval of) vehicles at each storey. This elevator 42 can allow to park a vehicle and also to retrieve another vehicle substantially simultaneously.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a second storey 20 of the parking system 8, and multiple parking platforms 121-129, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • Eight parking platforms 121-128 are positioned at eight parking spaces 21-29 of the second storey. The area of each parking space is just slightly larger than the size of a parking platform. This provides a highly efficient parking system.
  • By using highly maneuverable parking platforms that can perform sideway movement and straight movement each storey can be relatively small in relation to the amount of vehicles that can be parked in the storey. Such a storey usually includes multiple relatively small parking spaces and virtually no additional maneuvering areas.
  • Each parking platform can include four wheels that can be positioned in various orientations. Parking platforms that recently performed straight movements (in relation to an imaginary longitudinal axis of each parking platform) are illustrated as including y-axis oriented wheels. Parking platforms that recently performed sideway movements (in relation to an imaginary longitudinal axis of each parking platform) are illustrated as including x-axis oriented wheels.
  • It is noted that the number of wheels can differ from four, that the wheels of a platform are not necessarily parallel to each other, and that the orientation of the wheels can vary within a relatively large angular range.
  • FIGS. 5A-5C illustrate various stages in a parking session, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • A vehicle platform 129 has to be parked at vehicle parking space 26.
  • FIG. 5A illustrates an initial condition of the second storey 20. Parking platforms 121, 122, 123, 124, 126, 127 and 128 are positioned at vehicle parking spaces 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27 and 28. The elevator 42 just provided a parking platform 129 and the vehicle parking space 29 is empty. The wheels of parking platforms 121, 124, 128 and 129 are x-axis oriented while the wheels of parking platforms 122, 123, 126 and 127 are y-axis oriented. The first stage of the parking session include moving parking platform 126 from vehicle parking space 26 to parking space 29.
  • FIG. 5B illustrates a second stage of the parking session. Parking platform 129 is moved from elevator 42 to the vehicle parking space 26.
  • FIG. 5C illustrates the final positions of the parking platforms. Parking platform 129 is placed at parking space 26 and the elevator 42 is empty.
  • FIGS. 6A-6E illustrate various stages in a vehicle retrieval session, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • Parking platform 126 should be placed on the elevator 42.
  • FIG. 6A illustrates a first stage of the vehicle retrieval session. Parking platform 128 is moved from vehicle parking space 28 to elevator 42. This movement is preceded by changing the orientation of the wheels of the parking platform 128 from x-axis orientation to y-axis orientation.
  • FIG. 6B illustrates a second stage of the vehicle retrieval session. Parking platform 126 is moved from vehicle parking space 29 to parking space 28. This movement is preceded by changing the orientation of the wheels of the parking platform 128 from y-axis orientation to x-axis orientation.
  • FIG. 6C illustrates a third stage of the vehicle retrieval session. Parking platform 129 is moved from vehicle parking space 26 to parking space 26. This movement is preceded by changing the orientation of the wheels of the parking platform 129 from x-axis orientation to x-axis orientation.
  • FIG. 6D illustrates a fourth stage of the vehicle retrieval session. Parking platform 128 is moved from elevator 42 to parking space 26. This movement is preceded by changing the orientation of the wheels of the parking platform 128 from y-axis orientation to x-axis orientation.
  • FIG. 6E illustrates a fifth stage of the vehicle retrieval session. Parking platform 126 is moved from parking space 28 to the elevator 42. This movement is preceded by changing the orientation of the wheels of the parking platform 126 from x-axis orientation to y-axis orientation.
  • FIG. 7 is a bottom view of a parking platform 122, according to an embodiment of the invention. FIG. 8 is a top view of parking platform 122, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • Parking platform 122 includes a horizontal surface 109 on which a vehicle can be placed. It also includes breaks or other vehicle supporting and/or holding elements that are known in the art.
  • Parking platform 122 includes four wheels 202-208, engines 212-218 and steering motors 203-209. Each wheel is connected to an engine (or motor) to a steering motor 203-209. Each wheel can rotate about a vertical axis. This is achieved by connecting the steering motors 203-209 to surface 209.
  • Motors 212-218 are independently controlled by a platform controller 220. The platform controller 220 receives commands from controller 50, and in turn sends control signals to the various motors. It is noted that various control signals can determine the orientation of wheels 202-208 in relation to an imaginary longitudinal axis of parking platform 122. Other control signals can determine the amount of movement, the speed of movement and the like.
  • Conveniently, the platform controller is connected to the various motors via a driver 222. The driver 222 can send power signals as well as control signals to each motor. It is noted that one or multiple wires can be used per motor. Conveniently the control signal is an analog current, but this is not necessarily so.
  • Optionally, the parking platform 122 includes multiple proximity sensors, such as sensors 251-254. Sensors 251-254 are located at each side of the parking platform 122. Sensors 251-254 can communicate with platform controller 220 in various manners, including wireless or wired communication.
  • Conveniently, the rechargeable battery 240, recharging interface 242, wheels 202-208, motors 212-218, steering motors 203-209, communication unit 230 (at least a portion of said unit), platform controller 220 and driver 222 are located below upper surface (also referred to as surface) 210, but this is not necessarily so. The sensors 251-154 can also be located beneath surface 210. An antenna of communication unit 230 can be placed below surface. It is noted that one of more of these components can be placed above surface 210, at the same level of surface 210 but this is not necessarily so.
  • The platform controller 220 is connected to a communication unit 230 that can receive instructions or other control signals from controller 50. Conveniently, the controller wirelessly transmits the control signals to the communication unit 230 using short-range communication protocols.
  • The platform controller 220, the communication unit 230 and the motors 212-218 can receive power from rechargeable battery 240. The rechargeable battery 240 can be recharged in various manners. It can be recharged by recharging elements that are positioned at the vehicle parking spaces, but this is not necessarily so. The recharging elements of the structure contact the recharging interface 242 located at the bottom of the parking platform 122. The recharging elements can include a telescopic recharging conductor that can be elevated towards the platform once the parking platform is parked, but this is not necessarily so.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates platform translators 201 and 210′.
  • Platform translator 201 has a smart wheel configuration. A wheel 202 is mechanically connected, via a mechanical element 250, to a rotating motor 252. The wheel 202 is rotated around a translation axis by a driving motor 212. The driving motor 212 is connected to a horizontal plate 209 that is a part of the parking platform. The wheel 202 and the mechanical element 250 are rotated around a vertical axis by the rotating motor 252.
  • Platform translator 201′ includes a wheel 202 that is connected to a driving motor 212. The driving motor 212 is not connected to the horizontal plate 209 but is connected to an inverted-U shaped element 254 that is connected to the rotating motor 252. The rotating motor 252 is connected via an axis to plate 209. The rotating motor 252 can rotate the wheel 202, the motor 212 and the element 254 about a virtual vertical axis.
  • FIG. 10 illustrates a controller 50, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • Controller 50 includes a processor 52, a card reader 54 and a communication module 56. Optionally, controller 50 includes components that allow it to charge money for the parking services. These optional components includes money change unit 51, money bank 53 and a display 55.
  • The card reader 52 or other vehicle identification recognition element can determine when a request to park a vehicle or to retrieve a parked vehicle is received. Conveniently, the driver gets a magnetic card that identifies the allocated vehicle parking space. The initial location of the vehicle and its movements in the module are recorded by the system and the vehicle can easily be picked up by passing the card over the card reader 52.
  • Communication module 56 controls the transmissions between controller 50 and the multiple parking platforms and between controller 50 and elevator 42. It may include a short-range transmitter as well as a short-range receiver.
  • The processor 52 determines where to park each vehicle, how to retrieve parked vehicles, and controls the movements of the parking platforms and the elevator accordingly. The destination of a certain vehicle can be responsive to a possible retrieval time, to the size of the vehicle and the like.
  • Conveniently, the parking platform 122 transmits information to the controller 50. Alternatively or additionally, various components of structure also transmit information to controller 50. This information can include the status of the rechargeable battery, the status of the proximity sensors, the status of the motors, the status of the steering motors, the status of the platform controller, the status of the communication unit, the status of recharging elements, the status of the elevator, the status (vacancy) of various parking spaces, the status of wireless transmitters of the structure, and the like.
  • Conveniently, the controller 50 sends to the platform controller 220 various instructions including: start motor, direction of movement, length of movement, steering instructions, sensor override capabilities.
  • It is noted that each storey can include one or more transmitters that are positioned such as to allow their transmissions to be received by the various parking platforms within that storey.
  • FIG. 11 is a flow chart of a method 500 for parking vehicles, according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • Method 500 starts by stage 510 of determining an initial configuration of the parking system and of the multiple parking platforms.
  • Conveniently a parking session is preceded by an initialization stage in which each parking platform is assigned with a unique parking platform ID, and each parking space is assigned with a unique parking space ID. Each storey can also be assigned with a unique storey ID.
  • Stage 510 is followed by stage 520 of receiving a request to park a vehicle within the structure.
  • Conveniently, referring to the examples set forth in previous figures, a vehicle driver (or another person) passes a card to initiate the parking process. The controller 50 links between the smart card and between a vacant parking platform that should convey the vehicle of the vehicle driver.
  • Stage 520 is followed by stage 530 of determining a destination of a parking platform.
  • Conveniently, referring to the example set forth in previous figures, controller 50 locates an empty parking space and can even select such a parking space between multiple vacant parking spaces. The selection can be responsive to the height of the vehicle (this information can be provided by the vehicle driver), to a possible parking termination time (also can be provided by the driver), and the like.
  • Stage 530 is followed by stage 540 of controlling vertical movements and horizontal movement of the parking platform within a vertical movement space and multiple vehicles parking spaces defined within a multiple storey structure, whereas the controlling comprises controlling sideway movements of the parking platform.
  • Conveniently, referring to the example set forth in previous figures, controller 50 can send to the platform controller of the vacant parking platform the selected parking space. It can also send more detailed instructions representative of the movements (length, direction) that the parking platform has to perform in order to reach to the destinations. It is noted that the instructions can be associated with timing information. Conveniently, the controller 50 also instructs elevator 42 the destination storey. It is noted that the parking platform can also be responsive to sensors information. It may stop moving when it reaches its destiny.
  • Conveniently, stage 540 includes controlling the movements of each of multiple independently controlled platform translators of multiple parking platforms.
  • Stage 540 also includes controlling movements of multiple parking platforms within multiple vehicle parking spaces that are characterized by a vehicle parking area that is slightly bigger than an area of a parking platform.
  • Stage 540 can include wirelessly transmitting signals from a controller to the multiple parking platforms.
  • Method 540 can also include stage 560 of controlling the charging at least one parking platform. Conveniently, the card that is passed by the vehicle driver can be a smart card. Once the vehicle driver starts the parking process the parking start time is recorded. Once the vehicle driver passes the card such as to retrieve the vehicle the parking end time is recorded and the parking fees are calculated. It is noted that the payment can be include using a credit card, a pre-paid card, cash, and the like.
  • It is noted that once a vehicle retrieval process a vehicle retrieval process that resembles method 400 but is executed in a reverse order, is executed. Conveniently, referring to the examples set forth in previous figures, the controller associated between the card and the location of the vehicle associated with the card. The controller 50 sends elevator 42 and the selected parking platform to move such as to return the vehicle to the driver. Once the vehicle is delivered the controller updates the status of the parking platform as vacant and also updated the status of the parking space that are now vacant.
  • Variations, modifications, and other implementations of what is described herein will occur to those of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as claimed. Accordingly, the invention is to be defined not by the preceding illustrative description but instead by the spirit and scope of the following claims.

Claims (19)

1. A vehicle parking system, comprising:
a vertical movement entity;
a multiple storey structure whereas at least one storey defines multiple vehicle parking spaces as well as a vertical movement space through which the vertical movement entity moves; and
a controller adapted to control at least sideway movements of multiple parking platforms within the structure.
2. The system according to claim 1 whereas each parking platform comprises multiple independently controlled platform translators and whereas the controller is adapted to control a movement of each of the independently controlled platform translators.
3. The system according to claim 1 whereas the structure further comprises at least one charging terminal for charging at least one parking platform.
4. The system according to claim 1 whereas the vertical movement entity is shaped such as to support multiple parking platforms.
5. The system according to claim 1 whereas an area of a vehicle parking space is slightly bigger than a size of a parking platform.
6. The system according to claim 1 whereas an area of a storey adapted to support K vehicles substantially equals a vertical movement area and K vehicle parking areas.
7. The system according to claim 1 whereas the controller wirelessly controls the movements of the multiple parking platforms.
8. The system according to claim 1 further comprising an interface for receiving requests for parking a vehicle within the structure.
9. A parking platform comprising:
multiple platform translators adapted to perform sideway translation as well as straight translation;
a platform controller adapted to receive platform movement instructions and in response to control a movement of the vehicle translators such as to translate the parking platform within multiple vehicle parking spaces; whereas the parking platform is adapted to support a vehicle.
10. The parking platform according to claim 9 further comprising at least one proximity sensor adapted to estimate a proximity of the parking platform to foreign objects.
11. The parking platform according to claim 9 further comprising a rechargeable battery and a recharge interface.
12. The parking platform according to claim 9 whereas the platform comprises an upper surface and whereas the platform controller is positioned below the surface.
13. The parking platform according to claim 9 further comprising a communication unit adapted to receive instructions from a controller.
14. A method for parking a vehicle, the method comprising:
determining a destination of a parking platform;
controlling vertical movements and horizontal movement of the parking platform within a vertical movement space and multiple vehicle parking spaces defined within a structure; the controlling comprises controlling sideway movements of the parking platform.
15. The method according to claim 14 whereas the controlling comprises controlling movements of each of independently controlled platform translators of multiple parking platforms.
16. The method according to claim 14 whereas further comprising charging at least one parking platform.
17. The method according to claim 14 whereas the controlling comprises controlling movements of multiple parking platforms within multiple vehicle parking spaces that are characterized by a vehicle parking area that is slightly bigger than an area of a parking platform.
18. The method according to claim 14 whereas the controlling comprises wirelessly transmitting signals from a controller to the multiple parking platforms.
19. The method according to claim 14 whereas the determining is preceded by a stage of receiving requests for parking a vehicle within the structure.
US11/259,362 2005-10-27 2005-10-27 System and method for parking vehicles Abandoned US20070098528A1 (en)

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Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US20090078172A1 (en) * 2007-09-21 2009-03-26 Kaufmann Jean-Claude System and method for parking vehicles
US20090081011A1 (en) * 2007-09-21 2009-03-26 Krps Partners, Llc. System and method for parking vehicles
US20130202391A1 (en) * 2012-02-06 2013-08-08 Gil Dezer Passenger and vehicle elevator system
DE102014112269A1 (en) 2014-08-27 2016-03-03 Nussbaum Technologies Gmbh Automated parking system for vehicles
WO2016166649A3 (en) * 2015-04-13 2017-01-05 Bhosle Abhijeet Puzzle parking system with more parking density
CN108266027A (en) * 2018-02-02 2018-07-10 江苏普腾停车设备有限公司 A kind of PCS types side entering type multi-dimensional intelligent carries stereo garage

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US20090078172A1 (en) * 2007-09-21 2009-03-26 Kaufmann Jean-Claude System and method for parking vehicles
US20090081011A1 (en) * 2007-09-21 2009-03-26 Krps Partners, Llc. System and method for parking vehicles
US20130202391A1 (en) * 2012-02-06 2013-08-08 Gil Dezer Passenger and vehicle elevator system
US9255420B2 (en) * 2012-02-06 2016-02-09 Gil Dezer Passenger and vehicle elevator system
DE102014112269A1 (en) 2014-08-27 2016-03-03 Nussbaum Technologies Gmbh Automated parking system for vehicles
WO2016030034A1 (en) 2014-08-27 2016-03-03 Nussbaum Technologies Gmbh Automated parking system for vehicles
CN106605033A (en) * 2014-08-27 2017-04-26 努斯鲍姆科技股份有限公司 Automated parking system for vehicles
WO2016166649A3 (en) * 2015-04-13 2017-01-05 Bhosle Abhijeet Puzzle parking system with more parking density
CN108266027A (en) * 2018-02-02 2018-07-10 江苏普腾停车设备有限公司 A kind of PCS types side entering type multi-dimensional intelligent carries stereo garage

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