French startup Stanley Robotics just raised $4 million (€3.6 million) from Elaia Partners, Bpifrance and Idinvest Partners. The company is building giant robots that pick up your car at the entrance of a parking lot and park it for you.
If you drive your car to the airport, you know how expensive it can be to leave your car at the airport for a week. Airport parking lots have turned into one of the most lucrative businesses for airport companies.
Stanley Robotics plans to take advantage of that with a robot called Stan. It is going to make airport parking lots more efficient. When you think about it, your average parking lot has a ton of wasted space: you need to be able to circulate between all parking spaces, you can’t double park and you need to be able to leave your car and get back to the airport quickly.
With this robot, you can imagine much bigger parking lots as you leave your car near the airport. And even when you come back home, the system knows your itinerary and will bring your car back right before you land.
And if somebody is going away for a while, the robot knows that it can put the car away in a corner and double park another car in front of it.
Stan works with all kinds of cars. It doesn’t need your key as it clamps your wheels, lifts the entire car and moves it around. Once the car is in a parking space, Stan puts the car down.
All of this sounds great on paper, but the most reassuring thing is that Stanley Robotics is already operating at Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. It’s been years in the making, but a parking lot is now operated by robots.
Working with airports is quite a lucrative business. As I’ve said, parking lots are an essential part of their revenue, so they’re willing to invest. With today’s funding round, the startup plans to sign new deals with more airports around the world.
Working with Stanley Robotics is cheaper than constructing new parking lots. Airports are still going to build new parking lots, but Stanley Robotics’ offering is a nice addition.