For sustainable society


A Robot Valet Service!?

When it comes to the changing transport environment, you are probably very familiar with the new self-driving functions of cars; however, it looks like parking spaces are also about to evolve.

From August 2019, London Gatwick Airport will trial a robot-based valet parking service. France’s Stanley Robotics has developed Stan, a robot which uses a forklift-like arm to take vehicles parked near the entrance of the airport to a specific parking space. Many of you may wonder why we need robot parking when there are so many cars that have self-driving functions these days?

This service provides the answer by using space effectively. Because people don’t need to get in or out of their vehicles, the robot is able to pack cars into the parking space extremely tightly. With this service, Gatwick’s 170-spot parking space can fit 270 cars. The service also alleviates exhaust gases as there is no need to start car engines inside the parking building.

Some French airports have been using the service for a while. If Gatwick adopts the service, you may see the solution appearing in many parking spaces around the world, and with so many advantages to automated parking, full-scale adoption looks likely.