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Automated parking for bikes

One of the biggest inconveniences of using your bike for transport is making sure it stays safe when you get to your destination. If you’re lucky enough to live/cycle, in cities like Tokyo, Geneva, or Rabat, there are now parking garage equivalents for bikes. Increasingly more cities are installing automated bike parking where your entire bike and belongings are inaccessible from the street.

Japan’s Eco-Cycle provides underground parking for a monthly membership of about 29 dollars and an entire parking tower just for bikes in Tokyo. In The Netherlands bikesharing members can use the Velominck BV systems to lock away their bikes. An hour outside São Paulo, bikers can use one of 1700 spots at the world’s largest bike parking lot. The list goes on: there are Bike Trees in Switzerland, Bikelids in California and Cyclepods in the UK.

In Spain, two automated bike parking companies are populating towns with their intelligent systems. With membership and a microchip card, users can underground spots with Biceberg (within 30 seconds for storage and retrieval) or one of 24 spots in any given b-igloo pod (in less than 10 seconds).

In this video, we checked out b-igloo’s spacey structure at the 2009 Barcelona Bike Show where designer Jaime Palacios parked and retrieved his bike.