What goes up must come down, and what drives must eventually park.
Finding ways to make parking a better experience through innovation is one of the roles of Kevin Bopp, vice president of parking and mobility for real estate giant Bedrock Detroit.
One issue confronting Bopp and others in the field is how to create parking structures that could be put to other uses if there's less need for parking in the future.
"We are looking at building structures that are adaptive for reuse. The challenge that that creates isn't the upfront added cost, which is anywhere from 30 to 40 or 45 percent more to have level floor plates and things piped in, wired, so that it could support residential or office use," Bopp said at a Shift conference in August.
"The real challenge is the physical layout, because fundamentally, people want windows and daylight, and parking garages are not ideally suited to provide that in certain layouts."
A hint at one possible solution is in the local toy store.
"I think some of the technology you'll see coming online from us in the near term leverages automated parking systems," Bopp said. "It's sort of like, those of you who had Hot Wheels and Matchbox garages, where there were elevators that lifted the cars up and parked them automatically."
Instead of going up and down ramps, hunting for a space, the driver gets out, and the car is parked using a robotic system.
"We're going to be doing things like that because it saves drive aisles and it saves room for cars with doors opening and people getting in and out."