Automated Parking System Reliability


We often hear or read about reliability as it relates to automated parking systems (APS). This raises a question: What is meant by APS reliability? What’s reliability in general? We’ve got the answers for you.


In simple terms, reliability is a measure of how long a device or a system will operate before it stops working, shuts down, breaks or whatever may happen that prevents it from operating. Reliability is very often measured or described as an MTBF or Mean-Time-Between-Failure. MTBF is the average time, typically hours or days, it takes for a device or system to stop operating as designed, or more simply said, to fail. Reliability and MTBF are very useful, but there’s a similar term that also useful: availability.

Availability is a measure of the time a device or system is capable of performing its tasks. The type and criticality of the device or system determines the appropriate time interval for measurement of availability with hours or days being most common. If a device was unavailable to operate one day out of a year for some reason, then it’s availability during that year was (365 days – 1day)  ÷  365 days = 99.7% availability. Let’s look at example of reliability and availability to get a feel for the difference between them.

In our example, we have an elevator with a MBTF of one hour. That means that we can expect our elevator to need attention, maintenance, etc. every hour in order to continue working. We also know that when our elevator stops working that it takes one minute to get it working again.

Therefore, the availability of our elevator is (60 minutes – 1 minute)/60 minutes = 98.3%. That’s not too bad. Unfortunately, the one hour MBTF says that our elevator requires attention 24 times per day. The high availability and horrible reliability demonstrates that one measure does not necessarily reflect the other. If our elevator was in a public building, the availability might be a passable but terrible reliability/(MTBF) would never be accepted. Nevertheless, you should not conclude from this that reliability or MTBF is a better or more meaningful measure than availability.
MTBF is usually most meaningful when applied to devices or systems where testing can be conducted repetitively on multiple units. MTBF is also tied to very specific conditions. The MTBF of an electric motor, for example, is defined by factors such as load, voltage, power factor, temperature, humidity, etc. When an application deviates from the specified conditions, the effect on the MTBF becomes something of a guessing game.

For an automated parking system, it is no easier to calculate availability than it is MTBF. However, measuring, rather than calculating, availability is easy and straightforward. This measurement can then be used to estimate the availability of systems of similar design or estimate the effect design changes might have on availability. Furthermore, availability tracks system performance over time, up or down and is used to benchmark the effect of changes or repairs.

The bottom line: availability, rather than reliability, is a better and more meaningful measure of the dependability of an automated parking system.
Learn about the special features that make Skyline Parking’s availability high by contacting your representative.


Tourism and Car Parking in London

If you’re a visitor to London…THE London…the one in England…there are loads of things to see and do. You have all the usual tourist spots: palaces, bridges, squares, museums, towers, pubs and eye. Three spots you won’t readily find in the tourist guides are the Thames Barrier, the Royal Observatory and parking garages in London’s City Center and West End. Here’s why these make interesting tourism picks.

Although the Thames Barrier may be only the world’s second largest movable flood barrier, it is the largest located in an urban area (number one is the Oosterscheldekering in the Netherlands). Stretching more than a half kilometer across the river, the Thames Barrier is a marvel of really huge structures that move.

On a daily basis, GMT confuses millions of people worldwide. Why does my computer ask me about this GMT thing? What’s is GMT? The Royal Observatory, Greenwich is the source of GMT, Greenwich Mean Time. Here, at the reference point for all times and longitudes on Earth, you can have a foot in each the Western and Eastern hemispheres at the same time.

You will definitely not find parking garages in London in any of the tourist guides…not even the weird, little known or the off-the-beaten-path type of tourist guides. We include London’s Business District parking garages on our list of unusual London spots to visit because they are so staggeringly expensive. Perhaps that’s a dubious honor but it’s well-earned. For years, London’s City and West End parking garages have had the highest monthly parking fees compared to 154 other central business districts worldwide.

Moreover, London’s parking garages don’t simply sneak into the top stop, they own it. Imagine besting the parking costs found in big, densely populated cities such as Zurich, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Rome by 25 to 35%. That makes London’s car parking facilities truly unique.

What makes parking in London’s business areas so expensive? It’s a combination of factors…naturally.

Supply and demand explain the first factor. There aren’t enough parking spaces in the places where people want to park. Cost is the second factor. Land prices are extremely high and conventional, underground parking garages cost three times or more to build compared to aboveground multi-storey parking garages. Demographics are the third factor. Financial and high-end retail business areas attract a relatively higher number of wealthy drivers…drivers able and willing to pay exorbitant prices to park where they want to park. The bottom line is a scarcity of parking spaces in an affluent area leads to high parking costs. Parking in London, allows you park in the world’s most expensive parking spaces and hang out with lots of rich people.

Should someone rush in to create more parking spaces and reduce the cost of parking in London? That’s an entirely different discussion.

However, if they do want to do this, then automated parking systems (APS) would be a good choice.

For more information about parking solutions for London contact:
Skyline Parking - U.K.
Peregrines, 17 Church Lane, Old Sodbury, Bristol, BS37 6NB, UK
Contact Person: Mr David Calthorpe
Phone: +44 7517 451318
Email: d.calthorpe@skyline-parking.com