People say that history repeats itself and there is proof all around us. We believe that electric car is a modern invention but it's not, we think that steam engine is a rather recent invention and multi storage auto parking system is a couple of decades old and we are wrong again (or maybe it's just me). All these things were invented long before, electric cars come from the late 19th century but lost the fight to internal combustion engines, automated parking system was first used in the beginning of the 20th century but despite wide popularity later it also was forgotten for a while as it was hard to operate and getting your car from the parking space sometimes required a lot of time and first known steam-powered device called "aeolipile" was invented by Heron of Alexandria in 1st century AD and not in 17th century. We are now re-inventing and using long ago invented things.
According to wiki the earliest use of an automated parking system was recorded in Paris, France in 1905 at the Garage Rue de Ponthieu. The concrete structure had several storeys and an internal elevator that transported cars to upper levels where the cars were parked by attendees, this system is considered to be semi-automatic system as parking was still done by people. Fully automated systems appeared in 1920s, the paternoster system or “Ferris wheel” was one of the most commonly used. It was invented by Westinghouse in 1923 and introduced in Chicago on Monroe Street, between State and Dearborn.
I find it all rather amazing as I would have never thought that finding a parking space could be a problem in the beginning of the 20th century but it turns out it was. Mass production of cars and the fact that automobiles were considered as more environment friendly way of transportation than horses and thus much more welcome and desirable turned parking into a problem very fast. Various systems were introduced during 1920-1960s but the interest waned till the 1990s. Today we are facing the same problems as before and this could be the one space and cost saving solution for the never-ending parking in big cities problem.
A lot of pictures of different solutions can be seen here mashable.com/2016/01/23/vertical-parking/#sr9.mFKLZGqZ