Uncrewed Systems Technology 044 l Xer Technolgies X12 and X8 l Lidar sensors l Stan UGV l USVs insight l AUVSI Xponential 2022 l Cobra Aero A99H l Accession Class USV l Connectors I Oceanology International 2022

48 T he advent of self-driving cars is predicted to bring benefits such as more energy-efficient mobility, traffic reduction and reduced collisions, and all the necessary technology to do so has probably been invented by now. The key bottleneck with delivering these benefits worldwide is therefore not strictly technological but logistical. It takes decades to fully replace older generations of cars with newer ones, and the hardware and software costs of mass-producing self-driving cars make the global transition to full road autonomy something of a hard sell. If, however, a company could package all the necessary tools for self-driving into some kind of turnkey mobile robot, that robot could theoretically ‘clamp’ onto (or interface with) any road vehicle as needed. It could effectively turn that vehicle into an autonomous system, and all the benefits of autonomy would be deliverable to drivers without needing to overhaul the global automotive industry. That was the idea formed by Clement Boussard, co-founder and CEO of Stanley Robotics in early 2010, and the description of the original core concept behind the company’s flagship product, the Stan autonomous mobile robot. The system is currently being used by customers around the world as a self- driving valet solution, picking up parked cars (mostly outside the parking lots at airports), installing them in designated parking spaces, and later retrieving them for drivers as needed. “City centres are less congested than they used to be, and at hotels and restaurants people actually prefer a human valet providing a personalised service,” Boussard says. “But at major international and large regional airports, the use of an autonomous service provides huge value in three main areas.” The first of these is of course convenience for departing passengers. Finding a parking space can be a lengthy and stressful process, Rory Jackson learns about the development – and benefits – of this driverless valet Parking. Fine June/July 2022 | Uncrewed Systems Technology