Muscat: The first puzzle parking system is all set to open in Oman, according to the developer behind the project.
The parking garage in a commercial residential building in Al Khuwair allows users to drive into a bay and exit their vehicle, which is then lowered in an elevator and shuffled into a system where cars fit together like puzzle pieces underground. "You don't see it at all," said Shabbir Boriyawala, chairman, I-Park, who had pioneered this project.
The puzzle parking combines lateral and vertical movement of pallets with the aim of accommodating the maximum number of cars within the space available.
"The pallets at the entry level move only laterally while the ones at the pit level and at the top move vertically," he said.
The parking system uses 60 per cent less space and lighting than a traditional garage.
"Puzzle parking system is one in which the number of parking slots can be multiplied by adding the number of parking levels. For example, parking space of 10 cars can be used to park 19 cars if we add one more level and 28 cars can be parked if add two levels," said Thasleem Khan, CEO and Managing Partner of I-Park.
All cars will be parked and retrieved at the bottom level only. Parking of cars will be done on metallic pallets and then these pallets are lifted to create another parking space at the bottom. Bottom level pallets are sliding horizontally so that any pallets on the top level can be brought down. "With this automated parking system, cars are parked safely and there is no chance of any damage to any car.
Safety sensors ensure the safety of man and cars during parking and retrieval of cars," Khan added.
The puzzle parking system is capable of parking 146 cars in a plot size of 46 metres X 48 metres. Single basement of 5.4 metres height is used for three-level parking.
"Cars will be driven in through an entry ramp where the car entry is restricted by RFID (radio frequency identity) cards for the residents only. For driving out, the exit ramp is used," he added.
The garage will be monitored remotely and with no guard on duty to oversee the process.
"Oman's larger urban centres are embracing intensification to address population growth, optimise existing infrastructure and costs, and reduce traffic," he said.