Some Hobokenites will walk as much as a mile to find parking, but it is unlikely any of them have ever gone as far as Hans-Henning Judek, a resident of Yokohama, Japan, went this week. Judek was one of 125 parking industry executives and engineers from 10 countries who attended a seminar at a Secaucus hotel on Monday about a proposed "robotic" garage that is being built at 916 Garden St. in Hoboken. The executives followed Monday's seminar with a tour of the 324-space garage on Tuesday. The conference, which was billed as the "first parking mechanical parking conference ever," was organized by Parking Today, an industry magazine. Organizers said that the high turnout for the event was spurred, in part, by the lure of being able to see the United States' first fully automated garage. The $10 million garage will be the only fully-automated parking facility in the United States when it opens in March. More than 700 Hoboken residents have put their names on a waiting list for a space. "I think you are going to see a lot of people coming through to take a look at that garage," said Parking Today Publisher John Van Horn Monday. "We've had automated parking facilities in Asia and Europe for quite some time, but sometimes Americans are a little slow on the uptake, although now that it has begun I'm sure that it will take off." Hoboken Mayor Anthony Russo, who was one of the conference's featured speakers, told the executives that the city has already hosted visits from other municipalities, including a recent contingent of officials from New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's office who were "very impressed." The garage uses a sophisticated system of trolleys and elevators to take automobiles from a first-floor docking bay where drivers leave them. It delivers them to one of 324 spaces packed four spaces deep and seven levels high in the building. When a driver wants to retrieve his car, engineers estimate that it will take an average of two minutes for the car to be returned to the docking bay by the trolley-and-elevator system. Officials say that the automated features of the garage allow them to pack 324 cars into an area that would only hold 50 cars if it were built like a conventional garage. Peggy Guignon, Executive Vice President of Robotic Parking, the Germany-based engineering firm that developed the technology the Hoboken facility is using, said that once the garage comes on line, she expects to close deals on two more garages in the United States, and possibly several more in the future. "It's just a matter of familiarity," she said. "Once it becomes better known, people will become more comfortable with it and you will see these sorts of garages everywhere." Down the road, Guignon said she believes that they will be built in areas where saving space is not even a major concern. "These garages are more convenient and they are completely safe," she said. "Drivers leave their cars on the first floor, so there is no walking through the parking lot at night, and nobody can access your car when it is parked." Russo told conference participants that being on the cutting edge was a role that Hoboken and its inhabitants were used to playing. "Hoboken is a city renowned for firsts," he said after giving a special welcome to conference participants from Italy, his ancestors' homeland. "This sort of facility will revolutionize the parking industry and we are proud to be the first municipality to utilize it."