Gatwick Airport parking could soon be done by robots to maximise numbers of parked cars
You know how airports are so keen on telling everyone they intend to not increase use of private cars, but encourage public transport to and fro? Well, they make a lot of money out of car parking. And it is just sooooo convenient for the passengers. Now it has been announced that Gatwick has submitted plans to have futuristic robots parking people’s cars. There may be a pilot project in Zone B of the South Terminal long stay car park starting by August, fitting 270 cars into the space that now holds 170. The scheme is by French company Stanley Robotics, which has created a robot valet that parks your car more efficiently and securely. It can move the car to an exact position, and as it can park without the need to open the doors, it takes less space. So the car park owner can cram more vehicles into the car park, perhaps about 40% more, and thus provide more passengers to the airport – and make more money. The autonomous robots, known as ‘Stan’, would carry your car from a garage bay near the terminal, to an outdoor parking space. Where cars can be parked densely, using every available metre of space. The machines have already been trialled at airports in Lyon and Paris. The plans have been submitted to Crawley Borough Council’s (CBC) planning department. The company claims the robot is “zero carbon.”
Gatwick Airport parking could be done by futuristic robots within a few months
Use of robotic platforms would mean cars could be parked without leaving space for doors to open, meaning a huge increase in capacity in existing car parks
By Les Steed (Surrey Live)
21 JAN 2019
Gatwick Airport has submitted plans to have futuristic robots parking people’s cars in an incredible pilot project that could be in operation by August.
The scheme is a pioneering idea from French company Stanley Robotics, which has created a robot valet that parks your car more efficiently and securely.
The autonomous robots, known as ‘Stan’, are platforms that carry your car from a garage bay near the terminal, to an outdoor parking space.
Resembling something out of the Disney Pixar film Wall-E, the machines have already been successfully trialled at airports in Lyon and Paris.
In documents submitted to Crawley Borough Council’s (CBC) planning department, to which Reigate and Banstead Borough Council (RBBC) is a consultee, it states: “Unlike normal valet operations with block parking undertaken by drivers, the use of robotic technology allows more cars to be parked in the same area because of the parking precision and the fact that driver side doors do not need to be left accessible.”
How it would work
Passengers would park their car in a garage, or “cabin”, near the airport terminal and scan a QR code on a touch screen terminal to book the car in.
The zero emissions robot then comes and picks it up and valets it in a block.
The booking is linked to the passenger’s flight number and tickets, so the car will be waiting for them in the same cabin when they land.
The robot can carry any domestic vehicle that is shorter than six metres and can lift three tons. The car park area would be completely closed to the public so it is more secure.
When could we see it in use?
Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) submitted a planning application to CBC in December to launch the pilot scheme in Zone B of the South Terminal long stay car park in August.
Consultation letters have been sent to various authorities including RBBC. Comments can be made until Friday, February 15.
If approved, work is due to begin in April 2019 and be completed in August. The trial would last three months to determine whether a wider rollout is viable.
According to the plans, the pilot will use 170 of the current 2,350 spaces in Zone B. Even with the eight cabins that would be installed in that area, it is estimated that 270 cars could be parked there.
The area would be fenced off and resurfaced for the robots.
An example given in the documents, of how much car parking capacity could be increased by, is that Zones C and D could see the existing 6,000 self-park spaces increased to 8,500, even with the cabins being installed.
GAL did not wish to comment on the plans at this stage. Stanley Robotics has been approached for comment.
Gatwick Airport announces £1.11bn growth plans
Gatwick Airport will extend part of its North Terminal as part of a £1.11bn five-year investment plan, it has announced.
The extension will help the West Sussex airport cope with rising passenger numbers, which it predicts will increase by 8m to nearly 53m per year by 2023.
It includes: Completing the South Terminal long stay car park extension, providing an extra 1,200 spaces.