Gatwick Airport Robotic Valet Driving
Gatwick Airport trials robot valet parking to help travellers.
16:58 28 January 2019
Gatwick Airport is introducing a fleet of valet-parking robots to make travelling more convenient for travellers and squeeze one third more vehicles into the same size car park.
The trial, which beings in August, can be taken advantage by travellers by simply leaving their car in a dedicated drop-off zone. They will then use a dedicated app to book a droid, which will roll up and slide a forklift-style ramp under the chassis to ferry the car to a secure bay. The robot will then park the car without its keys.
The autonomous droids are reminiscent to a robot in Pixar’s 2008 movie Wall-E. They are designed to scan each vehicle’s size and shape and park them more tightly than usual to accommodate more cars. 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.
Stéphane Evanno, Stanley Robotics’ co-founder, said: “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.”