Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Little Too Good to be True

I received the following bit of email floatsam recently:

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.
The email was accompanied by these two rather amazing photos.

I thought that this was a rather cool idea, not least because I had a similar idea a while ago. Of course, I wanted to pass this along, but I wanted to see if I could find a quicktime version of these pictures so that you could all see the thing in action.

It's good that I did. When I did my search, the first page to come up with was Snopes, which is a site that debunks Urban Legends. I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. Were these just photoshops? Fortunately, it's not quite that bad. The pictures are real, but it isn't a garage. It's a Volkswagan storage facility for new cars in Wolfsberg, Germany.

The real story is actually pretty cool. The Wolfberg facility is kind of a cross between a dealership and a theme park (with shops, cinemas, restaurants, and various attractions). When you take possession of your new car, it's fetched from the tower.

So, instead of a story about German efficiency, it's a story about German whimsy. How often do you come across one of those?

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