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Future Tech: 

Inside Japan’s incredibly hi-tech bike parking system

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 15.55.23

“Wait, mine was the Hello Kitty bike with the pink stabilizers.”

Do you ever find yourself not wanting to park your bike in more shady neighborhoods for fear that your two-wheeled pride and joy might be stolen? Well, either you don’t live in Japan, or you’re too much of a cheapskate to pay the 1,800 yen ($15) per month it costs to use their futuristic and incredibly efficient underground bike parks.

In the video above, courtesy of Giken Seisakusho Co.,  a man puts his bike onto a runway in front of a closed door. It’s sucked inside and he walks off, little knowing of the magic going on underneath the surface.

Fortunately, the video keeps us in the loop, filming the full journey of the humble two-wheeler. The platform with the bike pulls it down to the right level, before wheeling it off into its temporary parking space home.

When the owner returns to collect their bike, the mechanical arm picks out theirs, like a vehicular snack vending machine and spits it back out onto the pavement, ready to ride home. The whole process takes just 13 seconds. Barely enough time to check Facebook, or even glance irritatedly at your watch.

It can hold an impressive 204 bikes, and uses a card system. As mentioned previously, it will set back any wannabe cyclists around $15 per month, but that’s cheaper than A) the cost of replacing a bike, or B) building your own futuristic underground bike parking system wherever you cycle to.

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