Autonomous vehicles are continuing to cause a stir within the parking industry, and barely a day goes by without another hypothesis of the impact they will have on traditional parking. But how realistic are these visions of an autonomous future? Stanley Robotics is already providing autonomous valet parking at several airports in Europe, and during Parking Talks, Stéphane Evanno shared his insight into what the future might hold.
What Role Do You Think Autonomous Vehicles and Automated Parking Currently Play?
"So I don’t think they play a big role today. They are visible and people can hear a lot about self-driving cars and find a lot of information about more robots coming. But they are not here today, they are not running real businesses today, at least not in the airport industry. But they are here enough to make people think differently and plan differently.
"For instance, as you know, airports are very regularly conducting master planning exercises. And it is important that they can see, with us at Lyon airport, a service that is working already at a certain scale, in this case, 500 spaces. Here they can see a robot fleet working autonomously to deliver a service. And because they can see that in real life, the first movers in this industry at least, are ready to enter into more projects with us, and to think differently in the way they plan and organize their future airport."
Do You Think It Is Feasible to Have Fully Autonomous Vehicles in the Future?
"So, in your question, there is the word future, of course, the future is about more and more automation. This train has already left the station and self-driving cars are already on their way to our streets. Nevertheless, my personal opinion is that they will do so somewhat later than commonly expected by the general public or the media. Regarding parking robots, which is what we do, I can be more definite, we have already reached a pretty high level of automation, and we are doing quite impressive improvements day by day, operating such a service, on the tarmac of our pilot car park in Lyon. And, I can assert that full automation, a fully autonomous system will be available before the end of this year."
What Can We Expect from Stanley Robotics This Year?
"So this year you can expect us to demonstrate more and more robust and convincing performances of our robotic operations in Lyon. You can expect us to launch a pretty similar service at Gatwick Airport in London, and to announce more such projects and partnerships. You can also expect us to grow significantly as a company to support this growth in our projects."
To hear more from Stephane, and for insight from Continental Parking Data Services, watch Parking Talks in full:
About Stanley Robotics
Stanley Robotics is a venture-backed company that was created in January 2015 and is headquartered in Paris, France. It is developing an automated valet parking service with robots that can move any vehicle and increase capacity in existing car parks by up to 50% while revolutionizing the user experience.
The three founders, Clément Boussard (CEO), Aurélien Cord (CTO) and Stéphane Evanno (COO), all have previous experience in driverless technology (at top research institutes and with a world-class industrial corporation).