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Would You Let A Robot Park Your Car?


A residential building in Abu Dhabi is planning to open a robotic car park for its residents, in which robots guide the cars into spaces. Is this the future of your local multi-storey?

There are few technology trends more closely watched than that of driverless cars, but before that happens, robots will be parking your regular car.

A 12-storey residential building in Abu Dhabi is planning to open a car park with 110 spaces in which residents’ cars are parked and even cleaned by robots in the next six months.

Designed by US company ParkPlus, the new system uses Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) to park the cars, scanning and taking pictures of vehicles to prevent damage. There is also an explosives detection system for security purposes and owners can opt to have their car cleaned in their absence before retrieving them via a kiosk.

ParkPlus already operates in Maryland, New York and New Jersey, including JFK Airport, Mount Sinai Hospital and various residential properties as well as in Shenzhen, China, where space is at a premium.

The company creates two types of storage systems for residential use, automated and mechanical. The automated system, which will be deployed in Abu Dhabi, shuttles cars into a loading bay using robotic dolly grids. A trained operator stacks up to four vehicles vertically in the mechanical vehicle storage system.

Cyrus Hodes, managing director of ParkPlus Middle East, told The National the system was safer than other storage options.

There’s never, ever going to be an accident because it’s a robot driving which knows to the exact centimetre where the spaces are,” he said. ”You’ve got multiple robots working and if part of a system breaks, the whole system carries on.”

In the event of a fire, the robots are programmed to approach and remove nearby cars to prevent it from spreading further.

Such a system also stands to reduce the amount of Co2 emissions generated by drivers searching for a parking space.

Similar storage systems are already being used across the UK, with a 21-vehicle capacity car park recently completed in London by Wohr Parking Systems, where cars are stored behind safety gates.

Automated parking systems have been in use since 1905, when an internal lift within a multi-storey in Paris ferried cars to upper levels to be parked by attendants.

In recent years Volvo has experimented with a self-parking car, which uses sensors and cameras to guide the vehicle into an available space. The technology has been integrated into the 2015 Volvo XC90, which the company claims can park itself in both parallel and bay situations.

Studies have shown that robots tend to be more energy efficient than their human counterparts when it comes to parking. Self-parking cars were found to hit the curb 81 per cent less often than human drivers in a road test by the American Automobile Association (AAA), using 47 per cent few manoeuvres.

Bentley Rebuilt From Parts Scattered Around Man’s Home


A 1928 Bentley reassembled after its dismantled parts were found scattered throughout a three-storey house and gardens is expected to sell for as much as £1 million. The parts of the 4.5 litre, art-deco styled vehicle were concealed under beds, in oil-filled glass jars and under a tarpaulin in the owner’s west London home.

The car was reconstructed using old nuts and bolts, the cars original aluminium bodywork was found on the roof of Mr Wallace’s nearby lock-up. The car, just one of eight ever made, was acquired by Stuart Wallace, an English teacher, when he was a student in 1962.

His daughter Bea Wallace-Hartstone called in experts to see if the car could be reassembled following his death.

William Medcalf, head of the Medcalf collection, toured the property scouring for parts until eventually he and his 12 experts had found nearly every original component.

Medcalf subsequently struck a deal with Mrs Wallace-Hartsone, agreeing to buy the parts from the family. While similar reassembled specimens have sold for £800,000, the firm is tight-lipped about how much they paid for the parts or what they expect to make at auction.

A source said: “You can’t put a price on passion, someone will pay whatever it is worth to them.”

Not one new nut or bolt has been used, with just a handful of non-original wooden supports added to strengthen the chassis.

Mr Medcalf told Octane magazine: “About a year ago a very nice lady called and said her father had passed away and that he’d had a couple of old cars in his house, one of which was a Bentley.”

“She was selling the house and the cars had to go. She explained it was a vintage Bentley but was not absolutely sure it was complete because it was in pieces spread throughout the house.

“So I jumped in a car and drove straight to Kew Gardens. Sure enough, bare on the entrance hall floorboards was a Bentley cylinder block. Going in further I saw a clutch on the stairs, then the connecting rods – there were literally bits everywhere and throughout the three storey house.”

After buying the vehicle for £280, Mr Wallace was deterred by the prohibitively high running costs and decided to store the car in his garage, according to his family.

He went on to strip in and began to restore it but later scattered the component parts throughout his house and garden.

When the Medcalf team began to scour for parts they found pieces deposited in jam jars of oil, the dashboard was concealed in a spare bedroom while the original headlights were found under a bed.

Mr Medcalf added: “There were pieces everywhere and in every conceivable container.

“We went back a couple of times over the year it took to settle the probate and actually have the components released to us.”

Mr Medcalf added: “As for its value now, that’s when the real debate starts – given its rarity, provenance and originality with matching numbers.

Mrs Wallace-Hartstone said: “My dad was always messing around with cars and storing old parts and spares everywhere.

“He kept a dismantled AC Cobra in my bedroom. He was crazy about cars.”

The Most Expensive Number Plates in The World… Ever!


If you’ve ever bought or looked into buying a personalised number plate of your own, you’ll know that prices can vary from a few hundred pounds to the hundreds of thousands or more, begging the question… just how much are people prepared to pay to get the digits of their choice?

Here we’ve compiled the top 5 most expensive number plates to have ever been sold across the world,

“VIP 1”, £285,000, Roman Abramovich, UK, 2006

Fittingly, the registration “VIP 1” has already had its fair share of Very Important owners. Initially commissioned to be placed on the Popemobile for Pope John Paul II’s papal visit to Ireland, Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich snapped up this most modest of number plates in 2006.

“M 1”, £330,000, Mike McCoomb, UK, 2006

After making his fortune in 2000 by selling his Mobile Phone Store to BT Cellnet, Mike McCoomb bought this record-breaking, £330,000 number plate in 2006, reportedly for his son’s sixth birthday.

“F1”, £440,000, Afzal Khan, UK, 2008

Bradford entrepreneur Afzal Khan smashed Mike McCoombs previous record by buying “F1” for a huge £440,000, making it the most expensive number plate to ever be sold in Britain. The plate is attached to Mr Khan’s Mercedes SLR McLaren, and he says “I think it’s a good price to pay because it’s probably worth 10 times that”.

“5”, £3.5million, Talal Ali Mohammed Khoury, Abu Dhabi, 2007

Talal Ali Mohammed Khoury broke the world record for the most expensive plate ever bought when he paid over 25 million Dirhams (£3,500,000) for the single digit “5” in 2007. While in the area, Mr Khoury also splashed out over £800,000 for the number “55” at the same auction. When asked, he said the numbers held “absolutely no significance whatsoever” to him.

“1”, £7million, Saeed Abdul GhaffarKhouri, Abu Dhabi, 2008

Saeed Abdul GhafferKhouri demolished TalalKhoury’s previous record when he bought a number plate bearing the single digit “1” at an auction in Abu Dhabi. Mr Khouri, a member of a wealthy Abu Dhabi family, said: “I bought it because it’s the best number.” He wouldn’t say which of his vehicles he’d be putting the number plate on.

You don’t have to have a six-digit priced registration number to benefit from awesome looking bespoke Number Plates. Whether you’re jazzing up a private plate or just want your regular registration to look its very best then get in touch with us and we would love to help.