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News: Gatwick trials robo-parking

Gatwick Airport is to launch a trial of an autonomous system for parking in the long stay car park at the South Terminal.

The system will involved customers driving into enclosed booths where they leave their car. After verifying the booking, an automated electric robot named 'Stan' will slide underneath the vehicle, lift it by the tyres, and move it to a secure part of the site.

Gatwick Airport is to trial autonomous car parking systems. Vehicles will

be left in booths and robots will move them to a remote area for storage.

A control system allocates a space to each car. Users will be able to take keys with them as their vehicles will not be driven on the site. The robots are linked to the airport's flight information system, which will enable cars to be retrieved from the parking area when a customer flies back into the airport.

Cars are moved to vacant spaces by a robot.

Stanley Robotics, the manufacturers of the system, claim that it enables cars to be parked more closely in remote parking areas as there is no need for access via the doors. The firm also claims that the process is environmentally friendly as it reduces emissions from customers driving round looking for empty spaces. The approach is also said to boost security as no customers will be allowed into the area where cars are left, and it is likely to reduce minor damage from door dents.

Stéphane Evanno, COO and co-founder of Stanley Robotics said: "We call it a valet parking