Gatwick Airport plans to start a trial in August 2019 where robots actually park cars for passengers.
The trial will use robots from French company Stanley Robotics to try to park cars closer together and make a third more cars fit into the same area.
As no one needs to get in or out of the cars it means they can be parked closer together.
170 current parking spaces and their associated markings and lampposts will be replaced by a smooth area that can take up to 270 vehicles.
Gatwick wants to start the three month trial in August 2019 in the South Terminal’s long term parking area.
How it works
Passengers take the car to a special drop zone, take out their bags and use a touchscreen to validate their booking.
They take their bags out and use a touchscreen to validate their reservation and flight number.
The car is secured at the drop sight and is scanned to determine the size.
Stan then makes its way over to the drop point and uses a sort of forklift to tow the car, using GPS, to a parking space where it will fit.
When passengers get back to Gatwick, Stan will have the car ready for them as the parking is linked to the passenger’s flight number.
Here is a video from Stanley Robotics showing how it works.
The plans were revealed in a planning application to Crawley council.
The airport isn’t doing this just to add a new level of passenger experience. It means more money for them as well. More cars parked in the same are means more revenue for the airport.
N.B. Image credit: youtube/Stanley Robotics