Rethinking parking space
Why do we need a separate garage for parking? What if, it can be parked straight into your living room? What if, you don’t need a parking space? What if, your car can park itself? Parking today is a source of frustration, pollution and congestion. Shortage of parking space is becoming a huge problem in modern cities. As an example, in the city of Pune in India, for 25 lakhs registered vehicles, it has parking space for only 1800 vehicles. The cost of construction and land for building public car parking is expensive. Also, owning a dedicated personal garage in the house in the city is a very expensive proposition only few can afford.
The way we understand parking space is going to change with electrified, autonomous and sharing automotive future. With the imperative demand to reduce carbon footprint, architecture will have to play a major role to take advantages of the coming EV era. Lot of changes have already been contemplated in urban planning and building guidelines for smart cities development considering the evolution of smart and electric vehicles. Electric Vehicles is clean with zero tailpipe emission and negligible noise compared to internal combustion engine. This can completely disrupt the idea of garage design. This will allow the vehicle to share living space without the need to isolate it. Contemporary buildings and residences can incorporate lifts and ramps to park and charge vehicles directly into the personal space or on any empty floor reducing the street congestion.
So, it won’t be any surprise when electric vehicles are parked inside your living room for charging. Your vehicle could also become a source to generate and exchange power required for residence & household devices. It can communicate with you, be your companion and give complete entertainment solutions. With autonomous vehicles it will be possible to park itself and summon remotely. Design of the parking space will have to incorporate provision to allow these autonomity efficiently. Shared vehicle, when it becomes more mainstream, will also impact not only the ownership experience but also reduce the requirements for parking space.
The vehicles per person will be reduced and the need to maintain a garage or pay for parking will theoretically be eliminated. However, the need to store/park the vehicles when not in service and deploy it when required in an efficient manner will have to be designed. Future is exciting and urban planning is evolving daily, based on technological advancements and the space requirement. Ideally, electric, shared and autonomous vehicles will empty the expensive multi-storey parking buildings and open parking lots. It can be utilised for something more useful to the society which may be children’s play area, parks, social interaction spaces and even houses where people want to live.