Lonely Planet Writer

No more hunting for a parking space at one French airport, as Stan the robot will valet-park your car

We all know the hassle of circling around an airport car park searching fruitlessly for an empty space, made all the worse if you’re late for a flight. Add motorists who can’t park between the lines into the mix and you can be at boiling point before you’ve set foot in the terminal. If you’re departing from Paris Charles-de-Gaulle however, you will no longer have this problem, thanks to Stan the robot who will valet-park your car for you.

A robot will park your car at a French airport. Image: Stanley Robotics
A robot will park your car at a French airport. Image: Stanley Robotics

In an attempt to reduce delays for passengers and make better use of its outdoor car parks, the French airport has signed a deal with Stanley Robotics for robot valet parking. The startup’s team of engineers has been designing Stan the robot for two years, and it is able to park cars completely automatically. This allows drivers to drop off their cars at the parking bay and then head straight to the terminal.

A robot will park your car at a French airport. Image: Stanley Robotics
A robot will park your car at a French airport. Image: Stanley Robotics

Stan is a low-loader, electrically-powered transporter that picks up cars and slots them in to precise spaces in the car park. With laser guidance it can park vehicles very tightly together, as there is no need to leave the space between them that you would need if humans were exiting them and doors were opening. As a result, the company claims that the robot increases car park capacities by up to 50%, without changing its infrastructure.

A robot will park your car at a French airport. Image: Stanley Robotics
A robot will park your car at a French airport. Image: Stanley Robotics

When passengers arrive at the airport, they drop their pre-booked car off in a spacious garage close to the terminals. They lock the car taking the key with them and confirm their booking on a terminal by the door before leaving to go to the terminal. Stan, the valet robot, then comes along and measures the vehicle using lasers, slides a trolley hoist underneath to lift it by the wheels and takes it to a secure car park.

The system is connected to the passenger’s flight details, so their car will be waiting in the garage and ready to leave when they get back from their trip. So, no more traipsing around a giant car park trying to remember where you actually parked the car, when your holiday is over and you’re already depressed and don’t need the added hassle.

A robot will park your car at a French airport. Image: Stanley Robotics
A robot will park your car at a French airport. Image: Stanley Robotics

From the sounds of it, the system will be a win-win for both passengers and the airport, saving time and space and best of all, enhancing the pre-flight experience.