We’re already working on autonomous cars, so why not have autonomous parking systems? Düsseldorf Airport recently opened a premium parking service that employs robot valets called Ray. Made by Serva Transport Systems, Ray is equipped with forklifts to transport vehicles in and out of the airport’s parking area.
When you leave your car at the airport’s premium parking, a laser scanner will measure your vehicle. If needed, the assigned Ray will then adjust the width of its forklift handles to accommodate your vehicle. The robot then uses more lasers to navigate the parking area and avoid obstacles, tightly packing parked cars together like sardines. Because the system doesn’t involve human drivers i.e. no one has to enter or exit the vehicles, Ray can store cars closer together, maximizing the parking area’s capacity.
When you get back, you can use an Android app to alert the parking system, so that a robot can retrieve your vehicle. Düsseldorf Airport also implies that the retrieval process can be automated, because you’ll log in your flight details – including your arrival – when you leave your car.
Düsseldorf’s presentation video below is in German, but the demo is mostly self-explanatory:
Serva’s animated presentation shows how multiple Rays can work together to move vehicles around:
Have your browser transport you to Serva Transports Systems’ website for more on Ray.