The issue: Lack of Parking Availability
In many areas of high-density housing, parking spots can be an incredibly valuable commodity.
This is especially true of areas with heavy snowfall, since the snow temporarily reduces the amount of parking spots available.
Unfortunately, there is no extremely easy way to add additional parking spots without major demolition / renovation to existing buildings.
But the area above the street is still free. Thus, we can create additional parking spots by adding a number of crane-suspended platforms to the street. These new “aerial parking spots” will be easy to use:
- Call the crane with a remote control (like a garage door opener).
- Wait for the crane to lower the platform into the middle of the street (this may temporarily block traffic).
- Drive onto the platform.
- Turn off your car and get out of it. Important: step off of the platform!
- Push the remote control button again to hoist your car into the air.
Now your car is hanging 30 feet in the air, on a small parking-spot-sized platform, and you don’t need to find a parking spot.
Bonus feature: protects your car from opportunistic theft and casual vandalism.
If the building has an interior courtyard, the cars could be lifted over the building entirely and then dropped off in the (normally vehicle-inaccessible) central courtyard. This would mean that one crane could handle multiple cars.
Fig 1: Here, the apartment on the right has a crane (or multiple cranes) which can pick up cars directly from the street.
Possible technical enhancement:
If this method of parking becomes extremely popular, cars may be built with additional “aerial parking” options. For example, a car could have a special roof rack that would be grabbed onto by a hook on the crane. This would allow the car be hoisted directly into the air without the need for a platform.
Fig 2: Having to wait for a platform to lower before you can drive onto it would eventually become a bit annoying. But this issue can be solved by building a “lift point” into the car itself. The lifting bar here (which would be like a standard roof rack, except structurally integrated into the frame of the car) would mesh directly with the overhead lifting hooks, preventing the need for any sort of lifting platform. The whole process could even be automated with basic computer vision and proximity-detection hardware.
PROS: Conveniently solves downtown / high-density apartment parking issues.
CONS: “How would this system deal with high winds?” Answer: POORLY?