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Robots: The Future of Valet Parking?

Posted on: September 30, 2014
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robots valet parkingWith movies like I, Robot fresh in the memories of many people, it’s hard to imagine a world where robots are utilized in place of humans.

Though it may be expected, technology continues to advance with plans to one day eliminate many jobs that are better handled by machines. This slowly began on assembly lines but has now taken over an important customer service position – valet parking.

The Inside Scoop

It’s finally happened. Valet parking in Germany has reached a new level. In the Düsseldorf Airport, a robot valet system was created to assist in parking cars. Serve Transport Systems has created an automated valet parking system which they call ‘Ray’.

This provides drivers with a number of benefits, including a fast drop-off as well as the ability to make any changes to their trip to adjust how and when their cars will be ready for pick-up.

How it Works

‘Ray’ is simply an electronic computer system. First, the driver brings the car to the parking lot. Once they have exited the vehicle, they confirm on a touch-screen computer. Then, the system measures and weighs the size of the vehicle, which can weigh up to 3.31 tons. The makeshift fork-lift then lifts the car onto the device and carries it to its designated area.

Although in Germany there are only about 249 spaces available in this new parking lot, more will be created with the success of Ray.

One of the perks of using Ray is the ability of the driver to link the information about their trip to the computer system, which will then prepare their car for pick-up when their trip is finished. If a change has been made such as a delayed or early arrival, you can change your schedule through a mobile app and the computer system will prepare the car accordingly.

A car can be parked inside of the parking lot with Ray for $39.59 a day. If you’re parking there for only a short period of time, the fee is $5.46 an hour.

What this Means

With optimal valet parking available, such as with Atlantic Services Group, this can mean a number of things. While it may be more beneficial for people on the run and a great way for businesses to save money, it can be bad for the local community.

Employing robots in place of humans reduces a number of jobs and puts many people in the unemployment line.

One of the perks of valet parking is the top-rate customer service you receive from a human employee. A robot will offer no communication and be completely impersonal to all of the customers the parking lot receives.

Though human err is a part of many jobs, computers can make mistakes as well. If something goes wrong with the computer system or there is a problem retrieving your vehicle, this can cause more damage than good. It can end up taking twice as long to have your car parked and brought back. If any serious issues have occurred with the system, this can require the hiring of outside support which can end up being more expensive than imagined. If the system needed to be replaced entirely, the business would lose profit during its reconstruction

Though using robots may sound like a fascinating and cheap idea, employing members of the community and bringing a personal touch to your customer service can be a much better choice. Atlantic Services Group’s valet parking may not be as technical as an automated computer system like Ray, but the smiling faces and top-notch service you receive will make you change your mind about using robots for good.

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4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Suite 550
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 466-5050