How can a robotic parking solution better optimize parking space and reduce a passenger's stress levels when finding somewhere to leave their car?
Passenger numbers are forecast to double by 2030, according to IATA’s 20-year Passenger Forecast 2015. To meet increased demand, many airports will need to invest in their infrastructure. This can sometimes mean building new runways, such as in London, UK, for example, but this can raise big questions concerning available space. Parking lots also represent a major infrastructure at airports and need to be considered when catering for increased passenger numbers.
Parking lots generate a great deal of revenue – in some cases they can represent up to 30% of an airport’s non-aviation income. To keep this value and build on it, operators must introduce solutions that are attractive to their users. Passengers do not want to be faced with aging facilities and a lack of space.
An increased number of passengers can cause real tension throughout the airport. In the parking area, for example, passengers may struggle to find a space during the busy holiday period. To overcome this, some airports implement overflow plans during the summer season. Parking spaces that are unavailable the rest of the year are made available to passengers. This strategy, however, has its limits, therefore new solutions are needed.
Stanley Robotics was set up to meet the need for better parking solutions. The company’s ambition is to offer the standard parking solution for airports around the world. Stanley Robotics has a bold vision: to remove workers from the car parking process and to provide a stress-free user experience.
An automated parking solution
Imagine arriving at the airport knowing that you are not going to waste time looking for a parking space. A valet parking zone is waiting for you at the entrance to the parking lot with all the information needed to drop off your vehicle. You leave your car in a good-sized parking space and take your bags and car keys (which you keep), and then use a dedicated interactive kiosk to check in your car. Passenger check-in is situated close to the parking zone, which means travelers have a quick and smooth journey to the airport.
An automated platform then lifts the car gently by its tires (no risk of scratching) and parks it in a zone that is closed to the public. The vehicle stays in this zone, which is accessible only by robots and is completely secure. Passengers can use a mobile application to indicate when their return flight is due to land. The system then ensures that their car is waiting for them on their arrival. This is the service on offer from Stanley Robotics’ robotic valet parking service, which is also 100% electric, therefore offering an environmentally friendly solution.
This futuristic parking service is being used in airports today. It is being rolled out in one of the parking lots at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, France. The solution is making better use of parking space and in some cases can increase the number of cars parked in a specific area by 50%. This is possible thanks to robotic intelligence and the ability to park cars very close together; there is no need to open car doors because passengers have already left their vehicles.
For the parking lot operator, the need for extra infrastructure is minimal – it is just a matter ofinstalling the stations that will be used to drop off and pick up the cars. The installation time is estimated at about three months.
For airport operators looking to implement an automated parking solution, the best place to start is by doing a quick study of the size of the solution needed and checking how economically viable it would be. Stanley Robotics can carry out a simulation of the solution in just a few days. The company uses the entrance and exit data of the target parking lot from the past 12 months. An entire year of operations will thus be ‘replayed’ as a robotic car park, which will show how many robots are required, as well as how big the infrastructure needs to be to cater for the clientele. It will take less than a year from when the project is started to the public launch, which is much quicker than constructing a new building to enlarge a parking lot.