Brum's Multiparker finds a space so you don't have to...
Finding a car parking space can often be a hassle - driving from floor to floor searching for the right spot, racing other drivers for a prime space and waiting for departing drivers to leave their bay.
However, a new high-tech car park in The Cube - a recently opened complex in Birmingham containing offices, shops, cafes, bars and apartments - aims to take the effort out of finding a parking space.
The underground car park takes cars from a designated drop-off point to empty spaces using a system of lifts and sliding shelves that move vehicles around the facility.
Drivers scan their magnetic parking pass when they arrive to identify their vehicle, then drive onto a lift at one of the four transfer garages that take the car to one of six shuttle units, shown above.
Once on the shuttle units, the cars can be moved vertically and horizontally between three levels and taken to one of the 339 parking bays that are available.
When the shuttle unit has reached the empty parking space, it slides a separate section - which includes conveyor belts that the car wheels sit on - into the space.
The conveyor belts then allow the section to be retracted from under the car, leaving the vehicle in place.
When car owners return to the car park, they scan their pass and the system retrieves their car.
The shuttle unit takes the car back out of the bay and turns it so that it can be driven straight out of the car park when it arrives at the exit where its owner is waiting.
The Cube's automated car park has been operational for several months for people working and living in the building, but season passes are now being issued for members of the general public.
The robotic Multiparker 760 system used by The Cube has been developed by German engineering company Wohr.
According to Wohr, the system uses less lighting and ventilation than traditional car parks as fewer people need to access the areas where the cars are parked.