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Volkswagen Autostadt Car Tower
Status: Real
image Here's a new picture doing the email circuit. It's accompanied by this caption:

A Volkswagen Polo is loaded in the car towers of the VW Autostadt in Wolfsburg, northern Germany on Wednesday. The Autostadt, situated next to Volkswagen's headquarter, is the company's theme park, and distribution centre where daily 5,500 visitors view Volkswagen brands like Bentley, Audi, Lamborghini.

It looks like something out of a science-fiction movie, but it's real, as is the caption. The picture was taken by AP photographer Fabian Bimmer. It appeared in SFGate.com's photo gallery on October 19, 2005. (Thanks to Dipankar Mitra for sending it to me.)
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 27, 2005
Comments (23)
Looks like a good idea to me. It must save a lot of space.
Posted by Big Gary in Dallas  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Thu Oct 27, 2005  at  06:48 PM
Do you have to stay in the car and drive it off the lift when you get to your park? I don't like heights so I couldn't cope with that

I have to admit the picture looks great
Posted by Peter  in  Melbourne, Australia  on  Thu Oct 27, 2005  at  09:50 PM
I remember seeing this on an episode of thunderbirds.


I'll bet Gerry Anderson didn't get any royalties for the idea.
Posted by Sharruma  in  capable of finishing a coherent  on  Thu Oct 27, 2005  at  10:06 PM
I couldn't help but notice that you didn't link the picture like you used to, but instead linked to the website in context...

Coward! grin
Posted by coit  on  Thu Oct 27, 2005  at  11:12 PM
I've seen one of these in the US except it was a horizontal/vertical pick-and-place. Round would make better sense seeing as you only need one elevator and spin it.

The biggest pain is getting your car in a hurry. We were parking there when staying in a hotel and my parents used to call ahead so we werent hanging around for too long (when there is a queue of people, you have to wait).
Posted by Aussiebruce  on  Fri Oct 28, 2005  at  08:41 AM
LOL! Yeah, I am getting more cowardly about copyright issues. So if an image clearly has an owner (such as the Associated Press), and somewhere where it can be seen full-size on the web, I'll now try to avoid reproducing it on my site. This is especially true if the image isn't doctored. But if it is doctored, then I think it's fair game for sites such as mine to fully reproduce it for the purpose of analysis/commentary, etc.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Fri Oct 28, 2005  at  11:13 AM
OK here is my concern
I can see space for about 500 cars in this well (about 25x20).
How much time it takes to load and unload one car.
It isn't a toy you know. If loading time is on average one minute, It will take about TEN hours to load all these cars inside and same amount to unload them.
It has to be very long line to get inside.
Posted by Loxx  on  Fri Oct 28, 2005  at  05:18 PM
Interesting point, Loxx. I'm not sure what the actual purpose of this car tower is. Is it a parking garage? Or is it where VW stores new cars until they're picked up by customers?
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Fri Oct 28, 2005  at  06:47 PM
I was in Wolfsburg once and several friends went on a tour of the VW plant. As far as I know, the giant towers are only used for new-car storage, and not as a "parking garage".

Would be quite the ride, though.
Posted by Daniel Fryer  on  Fri Oct 28, 2005  at  09:59 PM
Even in non-liability-bound countries, I don't think any company would let untrained people stay in a car being stored that way -- just open the door and stand on the lifting platform, lose your balance, and WHAM: a big lawsuit.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Sat Oct 29, 2005  at  05:39 PM
Here is the official Autostadt site. It seems there are TWO car towers! Really cool!

http://www.autostadt.de
Posted by corax  in  Lisbon - Portugal  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  01:46 PM
Lexx, there can be clearly seen _two_ lifters, so it would take twise less time. And I think I've heard about 1/2 minute time for loading/unloading single car.
Posted by Zigmar  in  Israel  on  Tue Nov 08, 2005  at  05:11 PM
Love the pictures, but some jacka*# has made up a new -incorrect- caption for it.

German Parking Garage This is pretty amazing!
Can you imagine how all this operates?
How do they lock each car in its cubicle for safety.
Talk about German efficiency.
The two photos below were taken at a new parking garage in Munich.
The actual space that the facility occupies is approximately only 20%
of a comparable facility with the traditional design that is used primarily
in the US. Not only is the German structure less expensive to build, but vehicles
are also "retrieved" in less time and without the potential of being damaged by an attendant.

It implies that it is a public garage in Munich, whereas we all know it is a storage facility at Autostadt. BTW, Autostadt was built for Expo 2000 in Hannover. Expo 2000 was apparently a pretty big flop, attendance wise.
Posted by Greg  in  Mountain View, CA  on  Fri May 05, 2006  at  04:23 PM
its real --- guinness world records 2006
Posted by k  in  ny  on  Thu Jun 22, 2006  at  02:06 PM
hey guys, i know the building is used just to save the cars of recent production and the elevator functions when a client go to pik up his new car, i hear that get down a car takes aprox. 60 seconds, i think is a pretty functional building for this specific porpose.
Posted by ismael lizarraga  in  guadalajara mexico  on  Tue May 08, 2007  at  05:57 AM
The lift that they use to get the cars in and out looks dangerous. I wonder if anyone has had an accident? especially if your car is right at the top and you forgot to use the handbrake..
Posted by CarDude  in  London  on  Wed Jun 11, 2008  at  08:33 AM
The CarTowers are used as a buffer storage for newly manufactured cars that will be picked up by the buyers in peron at the Autostadt. There are two towers with approx. 400 spaces each. Each tower has two elevators and one of those can retrieve or store a car in about 60 seconds and in much less for the lower decks. Thus the whole system can be evacuated in less than 3 hours.

The owner of this system is Volkswagen, but the parking robots and elevators in the towers are built by PALIS Parking Technologies, a high-tech automatic parking company from Bavaria, Germany.

BTW: they even added a cabin for persons to the system some time ago which is certified by the T
Posted by MK  on  Tue Mar 31, 2009  at  09:05 AM
yes guinness world records 2006 its real
Posted by aflam  in  uk  on  Mon Jul 27, 2009  at  09:38 AM
Mind blowing Idea
i would appreciate if u please tell me how to make a small project on that question
Posted by Shiv Dutt  in  Chandigarh,India  on  Wed Apr 21, 2010  at  12:26 PM
That's an awesome idea, what an incredible piece of tech, must have cost a pretty penny to install that beast. Don't see them loading up many vans thou, doubt it can cope with them. Still amazing all the same.
Posted by timstyx  on  Mon Apr 26, 2010  at  07:18 AM
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Posted by SEMO  on  Wed Jun 02, 2010  at  08:21 PM
is the company's theme park, and distribution centre where daily 5,500 visitors view Volkswagen b
Posted by formula 21  in  Formula 21  on  Sat Aug 28, 2010  at  10:36 PM
i can't even believe they would allow people to take cameras in there, what about industrial espionage?
Posted by sell BMW  on  Wed Mar 16, 2011  at  07:00 AM
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