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Parking can be a chore, or it can be a pleasure, depending on whether you’re doing it yourself or permitting a machine to do it for you. As for the latter, there are two main types of automated parking: fully automatic and semi-automatic. When it comes to semi- vs. fully automated parking, what’s the difference? And which is the best automated parking solution?

Fully Automated

It’s easier to start out by talking about fully automated parking because it’s all in the name. Fully automated parking is a fully automated parking solution that requires no human involvement in the parking process. A driver enters the facility, leaves the car on a platform, takes a ticket, and exits the facility. The system takes it from there, lifting the car up onto the platform and removing it to a specific space in the facility’s internal parking grid. When the driver returns, they present their ticket and pay for parking; this alerts the system to deliver the vehicle to the driver. The driver then enters the vehicle and exits the area, not once becoming involved in the actual parking process.


When considering semi- vs. fully automated parking and asking what the difference is, the name once again tips you off to the answer. Fully automated parking doesn’t require the driver to do anything, nor does it need valets or other attendants to be present to take the vehicle and park it. Semi-automated parking, however, requires a certain amount of the proverbial human touch. Rather than the driver doing the parking, a valet or attendant takes and sets up the car, which is automatically taken away and stored. Regardless, no human being enters the actual parking area, which can be a safer and more profitable situation.

Pluses and Minuses

As automated parking solutions go, it’s wrong to declare fully automated parking to be superior to semi-automated parking, or vice versa. Both operate the same way, albeit with more human beings involved in one over the other. With semi-automated parking, some customers might prefer to see another face in the process, plus valet service remains a mark of prestige for a facility. On the other hand, fully automated parking allows for more room for cars since semi-automated facilities need to be built slightly smaller. The right option all depends on your property and your business’s needs and brand.

This post was originally published on Harding Steel