Starting on Tuesday, arriving passengers at Düsseldorf airport will be able to turn their car over to robot Ray who’ll park it for them.
Vehicles are left in one of six boxes about the size of a car-wash unit. Each box is equipped with its own Ray. Once the car is parked in the box, a touchpad asks the driver if the baggage has already been removed and when his or her return flight is.
After that Ray — a kind of robotic fork-lift — picks the car up and carries it to its parking spot.
Ray was designed by the Heidelberg-based Serva company. A basic system with two Rays and two parking bays costs 875,000 euros. According to Rupert Koch, Serva sales director, generally a system pays for itself within two years.
The director of Düsseldorf airport, Thomas Schnalke, says: "The product is mainly aimed at business travelers who’ll be returning within a couple of days. They get to the airport only shortly before their flight leaves and want maximum-efficient parking."
On return, passengers use an app to indicate when their flight is due. Shortly after their flight lands, Ray goes to fetch their vehicle.
Parking for a day costs 29 euros, or 4 euros per hour.
*This is a digest item, not a direct translation.