Gatwick announces plans to roll out fleet of valet-parking robots

By Folake Dosu  |  January 30, 2019

robotics-Gatwick-valet

The hassle of finding an airport parking space right before your travels is a job that most humans do not mind giving up to robots. Evening Standard reports that Gatwick is rolling out valet-parking robots powered by Stanley Robotics technology that will drop your car off while you start your next adventure.

The trial is set to begin in August. Travelers will drop their car off is a dedicated area and order a robot via smartphone app. While customers are taken to their terminal in a shuttle, the robot gets to work, sliding a ramp under the chassis of the vehicle and hauling the car to a secure zone under the guidance of military-grade GPS, according to the outlet.

By using technology to scan and analyze each vehicle’s size and shape, the autonomous robots can transport the vehicles to their destination without a hitch. Eliminating the need to open car doors also allows the cars to be packed more tightly together, increasing capacity by a third. To make collection a snap, each booking is “linked to the passenger’s flight number to ensure their car is ready to collect from the same location upon their return,” says Evening Standard.

“We call it a valet parking robot because people just need to drop off their car at the entrance of the car park and then they can basically leave and catch a flight, but it’s doing more than just valet parking.”

The pilot is slated to take place over three months during the summer, the high season for travel. It would also be the first trial of its kind in the U.K.

Stéphane Evanno, Stanley Robotics’ co-founder, told Evening Standard: “We call it a valet parking robot because people just need to drop off their car at the entrance of the car park and then they can basically leave and catch a flight, but it’s doing more than just valet parking.”

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