Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Parking

V-Charge guides self-driving electric cars to open spots in transit station car parks

Although the battery range of electric vehicles continues to improve, it's still quite likely that as EVs become more popular, so will their integration into larger transportation networks – in other words, people will drive their electric cars to transfer points such as train stations, instead of making entire long trips solely by driving. With that in mind, the European V-Charge consortium is developing a system whereby users can just step out of their vehicle when they reach a public transit station, leaving the car to head off on its own to find a parking spot.  Read More

Park 'N' Play, by Danish firm JAJA Architects (Image: JAJA Architects)

Multi-story car parks are ubiquitous, necessary, and almost always boring. Danish firm JAJA Architects hopes to do something about the latter with its Park 'N' Play project. Located in the Nordhavn area of Copenhagen, it's a multi-story car park that features plenty of parking space, but also some greenery and a kid's playground up on the roof.  Read More

Bicyclick allows bikes to be temporarily clicked together at the handlebars

Whether they ride road bikes or mountain bikes, many cyclists don't like having the weight and clutter of a kickstand on their trusty steed. This generally doesn't pose a problem, although there are certainly times when it would be nice to be able to stand the bike up instead of leaning it against something. That's why Bicyclick was invented.  Read More

A new installation by Urbana architecture and design studio has been installed on the Eske...

Large-scale artworks are certainly in vogue at the moment. Recently we've seen giant puppets walking the streets of Liverpool and a giant solar-harvesting duck in Copenhagen. For his part, designer Rob Ley has created a huge car-park façade that changes color as the viewer moves around it.  Read More

To Park or Not To Park: making cities more human friendly, one parking sign at a time

Like many design projects, this one starts with the simple question "how can we fix this?" Parking regulations in big cities are complex and confusing, and public parking signage can take so long to decipher that you have to wonder if revenue raising is the goal behind it all. Nikki Sylianteng, living in New York City, is on a one-woman crusade to make parking signs more human-friendly, using a visual design approach and some late-night guerrilla tactics to help improve usability in her neighborhood.  Read More

Ray is able to park, transport, and retrieve cars autonomously

You've just caught the "red-eye" flight home. The baby in the next row screamed all of the way, your inflight meal was awful, and you're beyond tired. You drag yourself off the plane and schlep your heavy baggage over to the car park – only to realize that you’ve forgotten where you parked your car. At times like this, wouldn’t it be nice if you could just have your vehicle magically appear? Well, if you're at Düsseldorf Airport in Germany you can. That's because "Ray" the parking robot concierge installed there knows when your flight arrives, picks up your car in its mechanical arms and delivers it right to you.  Read More

SCADpad: a micro-housing unit that can fit into a parking spot (Photo: SCADpad)

A team of students and professors at Georgia's Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) recently unveiled a tiny house prototype cited as the future of urban living. Dubbed SCADpad, the home in question can fit into a standard-sized car parking space and is expected to cost around US$40,000 to produce.  Read More

Car Park House is based in Echo Park, Los Angeles (Photo: Steve King)

Los Angeles-based architecture and design studio Anonymous Architects has completed an unusual property which gives primacy to the occupant's automobile. Like the firm's Big and Small House, Car Park House is again a fine example of using a modest-sized plot to its fullest, but in this case Anonymous Architects took the step of installing a rooftop-based car port.  Read More

The Next Gen Bike Rack is claimed to secure all components of a bicycle, using a single U-...

Have you ever noticed how sometimes even if there are slots available in a bike parking rack, some people will instead choose to lock their bike to a parking meter or sign post? This is because those racks aren't really conducive to securing the frame and both wheels, using a single U-lock. Montreal inventor Peter Krantz, however, has designed a rack that is.  Read More

A rendering of a Valet Park4U user

Valeo recently introduced its Valet Park4U system, becoming one of the latest manufacturers to reveal its vision for self-parking cars. More of a self-contained vehicle technology than other autonomous parking systems, the Valet Park4U system eliminates the need for advanced car-to-lot communications, relying entirely on onboard systems.  Read More

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