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November 23, 2014

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Take me to your meter: Robot valet to park cars at German airport

Image

Federico Gambarini / AP

Parking robot “Ray” transports a car in Duesseldorf, Germany, Monday, 23 June 2014. The parking robot will see service for the first time at Duesseldorf Airport.

BERLIN — Plane to catch and don't feel like hunting for parking?

Travelers at Duesseldorf airport in Germany can soon leave the job to a robot valet.

An airport spokesman says the robot, nicknamed Ray, starts work Tuesday and can be booked using a smartphone app.

Thomas Koetter says all travelers need to do is leave their car in a designated area and confirm it's empty and ready to go.

Then Ray or one of its cybernetic colleagues will take the car to one of 249 parking spaces reserved for robots.

Koetter says the forklift-like machine can carry any standard car weighing up to 3 metric tons (3.31 tons) and is fully insured.

He says the service costing 29 euros ($39.43) a day targets busy business travelers but is open to anyone.

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