Robots take on air­port park­ing

Sunderland Echo - - Cars -

Lon­don’s Gatwick Air­port is plan­ning to roll out a fleet of au­to­mated robots to park trav­ellers’ cars for them.

Start­ing this April, the air­port in­tends to trial a “ro­botic car park pi­lot project” at its south ter­mi­nal long-stay car park.

Trav­ellers will be able to drive their car to the car park and leave it in a des­ig­nated drop-off zone where it will be col­lected by a ro­bot called Stan.

Once sum­moned by a touch­pad, Stan will ar­rive, scan the car’s di­men­sions and the pick the car up on its fork­lift-style ramp. It will then move the car to a pre­set park­ing bay us­ing mil­i­tary­grade GPS.

The team be­hind the scheme say the cars can be packed much more tightly into spa­ces thanks to the ac­cu­racy of the sys­tem and the fact it doesn’t need to leave space for doors to be opened.

The sys­tem also en­sures a driver’s car is ready for them when they re­turn by link­ing the park­ing sys­tem to their flight num­ber.

The trial, which was re­vealed in a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion to the lo­cal coun­cil, will run­forthree­monthsoverone of the busiest pe­ri­ods for the air­port and fol­lows sim­i­lar schemes in at Paris Charles de Gaulle, Lyon and Dus­sel­dorf air­ports.

Stan is the brain­child of French ro­bot­ics firm Stan­ley Ro­bot­ics. Stéphane Evanno, co-founder of Stan­ley Ro­bot­ics, com­mented: “We call it a valet park­ing ro­bot be­cause peo­ple just need to drop off their­carattheen­trance­ofthe 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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