Robots are officially taking over. French tech firm, Stanley Robotics is introducing a fully-autonomous car parking service which will be trialled at London Gatwick Airport from August of this year. The scheme promises to squeeze an extra 30% more cars into Gatwick’s already overcrowded long-stay car park by utilising ‘Stan’ the robotic valet parking service.
Watch Stan in action here:
The idea behind Stan the robot is simple. Drivers will park their cars inside a drop-off zone, where they use a touch-screen kiosk to validate parking. Once this is done, the owner simply locks the car and takes the keys away with them. Stan then approaches the car and deploys a forklift-style ramp underneath the vehicle which lifts the car up onto a dedicated platform and then moves it into a parking space using military-grade GPS navigation systems and sensors.
Where humans do their best to park as neatly as possible, they still need room to get in and out of the vehicle, Stan doesn’t. This means that cars can be parked just millimetres away from each other, resulting in a better use of space and ultimately, a more efficient car parking system. Once the driver is back from a relaxing week in the sun, Stan uses flight information to make sure that the owner’s car is in the pick-up zone ready for collection at the right time, even if delays occur.
Stan is to be trialled at Gatwick’s Zone B long-stay car park where 270 spaces will be reserved for the scheme. If successful, the cute little toaster-shaped robot could extended its services to Zones C and D in the future.
A similar parking system has been trialled at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France, which has been highly praised and well received. Further schemes are currently taking place in Lyon and Dusseldorf Airports.
London Gatwick Airport is set to start preparations for Stan in April, ready for an August launch. No pricing costs have been released as of yet.
Gone are the days of returning to your car to discover a scratched door courtesy of the family of four parked next to you.