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Video: West Hollywood Is Opening A Robotic Parking Structure Today

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The great part about the future is that when it arrives, it's almost always much more boring than it was purported to be. Take for example the progressively-minded city of West Hollywood, who have taken it upon themselves to build one of the West Coast's very first fully automated parking structures.

Today, West Hollywood officially opens its robotic parking structure to the general public. At 5 p.m. the city will kick off a three hour launch party involving DJs, public officials, and (probably) food trucks. At 8 p.m., the city will be able to sit back and quietly revel in the fact that they are responsible for Los Angeles' parking future.

Gone will be the days of endless spiraling and queuing inside a brutalist beacon of parking modernity. At West Hollywood's new computerized car-park, motorists who need to find a space to stash their vehicle while they conduct official city business—the structure is adjacent WeHo's city hall—or rage hard merely have to drive into a small, garage-like space inside the parking structure, inform the building they have arrived, and step away. The mechanized building will take care of the rest, grabbing the car and elevating it onto one of three levels inside the structure.

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More seriously, because a computer (and not people) is responsible for filing the vehicles away inside the structure, the building can hold way more cars than one of comparable physical size where people drive in themselves. There's no need for ramps or driveways, and cars can be stack-parked inside the building. The building can hold roughly two to three times as many cars as a conventional ramp garage, according to Curbed L.A., and is actually replacing a structure that previously held just 66 cars.

Of course, given that both robots and parking structures are notoriously pricey, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that this building cost approximately $18 million to build. As WeHoville reports, the city paid for the building using issued bonds, not the city's general fund.

Cool, I guess. Who wants to see a Facebook live stream from a stowaway in the robot garage?

(h/t Curbed LA)