Parking is never really a delightful experience, especially in crowded cities, airports, and other high-traffic areas. One robotics company aims to alleviate some of the stress, though.
Stanley Robotics has published a video of its autonomous valet parking system in action. The driver pulls into a garage-like area, pays for a parking space and simply walks away to go about his or her business. From there, a robotic lift of sorts scoops up the vehicle and carries it to its destination for the driver.
The video doesn't show the retrieval method, if there is one, but it looks like a pretty great way to making parking much less of a hassle. Of course, it probably doesn’t look so great if you making your living as a valet.
This isn't exactly a new technology. The airport in the city of Düsseldorf, Germany has trialed a similar system for airport patrons since about 2014. Again, a robot scoops the driver's car up and places it in a parking spot. In turn, there's much less traffic and the risk of an annoying fender-bender is likely lessened significantly. People aren't exactly patient when looking for parking space.
The technology may be the last frontier before robots aren't needed to park cars—the cars will be parking themselves. As self-driving cars come of age, occupants (can't really call them drivers...) will likely give the car desired directions and have it park itself. Or, it may even be able to drop the occupant off and be summoned at a later date. The possibilities are endless.