Automated parking garage


Parking garages that stow and retrieve cars automatically are becoming viable solutions for parking shortages. However, these are complex systems and a number of severe incidents involving such garages have been reported. Many of these are related to safety issues in software. We applied verification techniques to develop a software design for an automated parking garage. This design meets a number of safety requirements. To do so we developed a software architecture that allows one to split implementation, safety and algorithmic aspects of the software. We also developed a custom visualization tool to assist us with our analysis. This enabled us to find a number of serious errors.


The visualization plug-in for the parking garage visualizes the garage as seen from the top. Using this tool we were able to identify a number of mistakes.

  1. It was possible to tear a car in half with the shuttles toward the left and right of the parking garage.
  2. It was possible to damage two cars using the lift.

Technical details

Type of verification
A number of safety requirements were verified. Using a custom visualization tool, a number of errors that had not been specified as safety requirements were found.
Data size
The original specification would have resulted in an estimated 640 billion states, making it prohibitively large. After a number of simplifications 3.3 million states were generated and verified.
Equipment (computers, CPU, RAM)
Verification took 35 hours and 16 minutes on a single PC (3 GHz CPU, 4 GB RAM), and 5 hours and 38 minutes on a cluster of 34 CPUs (3 GHz CPU, 2 GB RAM).
The model is available as an appendix to the technical report mentioned in [MP07]. It is also distributed with the mCRL2 toolset.
Organizational context
Contact person:Aad Mathijssen, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Other people involved:
 Hannes Pretorius, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Institution:Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Industrial partner:
 CVSS Parking Systems, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Time period:June 2005 – December 2005