BY END 2015, three HDB estates will sport mechanised parking systems, as part of a pilot project to see how carpark shortages can be addressed - particularly in older estates where there is no space to build more lots.
Lee Bee Wah, chairwoman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for National Development, announced yesterday morning that Bukit Panjang, Yishun, and Changi Village have been selected as pilot sites.
Said Ms Lee: "GPC and HDB have studied the suitability of mechanised carparks as an additional parking solution. We have assessed that mechanised carparks have good potential as they can provide additional parking lots in estates with site constraints.
"However, not every HDB estate is suitable for mechanised parking system implementation. These three pilot sites will allow HDB to further evaluate the suitability of the mechanised parking system, before extending it to other sites in the future."
HDB also said it will gauge users' acceptance of the system and glean learning points, before considering implementation to new sites.
The new parking system will operate like an automated multi-storey garage, with a lift for cars. Once a driver parks his car and exits the lift, the system will determine where to take the vehicle and will move the car into place.
The pilot project is the fruit of a joint GPC-HDB study, first initiated in January 2012, on the viability of mechanised parking in Singapore's HDB estates.
The study team evaluated different mechanised parking technologies and looked into potential implementation issues such as residents' acceptance, retrieval time, and the management of breakdowns.
As tenders have not yet been requested, HDB was not able to say how much the pilot project would cost.
However, it noted that "due to the more complex design of mechanised car parking systems, the cost of installing and maintaining mechanised parking is higher than that for multi-storey or surface car parking".
It was previously reported that one such mechanised carpark, M-Park@Club Street, cost $6 million. Each of M-Park's 140 parking spaces cost about $42,900.
While mechanised carparks are still relatively new in Singapore, they have been widely used in Japan and Korea for several decades.