Stan’s your man when it comes to parking cars – or at least he will be if an autonomous robot by that name succeeds in keeping your ride dent and scratch-free at the airport in the UK.
According to this application, Stan will come from Stanley Robotics, a Paris-based company. He recently underwent a trial run at Lyon Airport and Charles De Gaulle Airport. Gatwick says they’ll also create 270 robot valet parking spots during Stan’s trial run, while cutting 170 of the 2,350 spots currently available.
How will it work for travelers? You’ll drive into one of a series of numbered cabins, confirm your reservation via a touch screen, and take your keys with you. Stan will show up shortly afterward and transport your car to a secure spot. He’ll also have your itinerary, so your car will be waiting in the cabin upon your return. The robots are designed to handle cars up to about 18 feet long and weighing up to three tons, so no worry your Escalade, Titan or QX80 won’t fit. Stan knows how big or small you are, too; he uses sensors to analyze each vehicle’s shape and size before having at it. Stan can manage up to 400 car spots, and Stanley Robotics says he’ll be able to move between 20 and 30 thousand cars per year.
Construction for the robot valet parking system commences in April; it’ll be finished by August. Along with building the actual infrastructed needed to perfect such an endeavor, the process will ensure the robots don’t get fouled up including fixing cracks as well as anything else impeding Stan’s progress, including, in some cases, doing away with light posts.
If the trial goes well, Gatwick may expand Stan’s responsibilities to two other parking areas where the aim would be packing 8,500 cars into what currently only hold 6,000 vehicles.