Gatwick has signed a framework contract with Stanley Robotics and it will be the first UK airport to trial robots that valet park passengers’ cars.

The trial will run from the second half of 2019 to early 2020, where passengers will simply leave their car in a ‘parking station’ close to the South Terminal entrance — and the driverless robot will gently lift up the carand store it in a secure car park.

The system will also be connected to real-time flight information so the robot simply returns the vehicle to the parking station. The user then receives an SMS that the vehicle is ready and waiting for their arrival.

“The valet parking robots could revolutionise parking”

Guy Stephenson, chief commercial officer of Gatwick Airport said: “I’m delighted to have signed the contract for this new partnership with Stanley Robotics. The valet parking robots could revolutionise parking at Gatwick and may also become common-place at airports and other businesses across the world.

“The new service will be a convenient, personalised experience that will save passengers time, while also reducing vehicle emissions.

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According to Stanley Robotics COO Stéphane Evanno, the UK market provides an enormous potential for its product. The company has established an office and team in the country to further this agenda.

“To completely reinvent the parking experience”

Evanno said: “We are now working with Gatwick to offer visitors a world-class experience. We aim to completely reinvent the parking experience and create a seamless customer journey. In addition, we will be maximising the efficient use of land for Gatwick and bringing them a sustainable solution, allowing us to envisage long-term collaboration.”

More details on Gatwick’s trial will be released prior to the trial launch in the coming weeks.

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