Lyon airport to expand robot parking service

28 Jan 2020 by Jenni Reid
Stanley Robotics at Lyon Airport

All 2,000 parking spaces at Lyon Saint-Exupéry will be managed by a fleet of autonomous robots from summer 2020.

The robot valets have been parking cars in 500 spaces at the airport since the start of 2018. Despite initial teething issues, when passengers were confused about how the system worked, by the start of 2019 the airport said 95 per cent of passengers were happy with their experience.

The electric machines, which were developed by Paris-based Stanley Robotics, are due to be trialled at Gatwick this year. Both Lyon Saint-Exupéry and Gatwick are operated by Vinci Airports.

According to Vinci and Stanley Robotics, the system adds 50 per cent more car parking spaces within the same area, since vehicles can be parked more closely together. They also say it can reduce emissions by eliminating the need for passengers to drive around looking for a free space.

Stanley Robotics at Lyon Airport

More than 8,000 people have used the service since it launched, and it currently has around 750 users a month.

How it works

After booking a space online, passengers drive their car to one of 28 cabins. Here they can access the terminals from a nearby shuttle bus, while the cabin is closed and secured.

One of seven self-driving robots will then be sent to collect the vehicle. It opens the garage door and slides a long arm underneath the car to lift it by the tyres and take it to be parked in a private car park.

As the car registration is synched to the passenger flight number, the car will be returned by a robot to the cabin ahead of a passenger’s arrival.

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