Travelers rushing to Dusseldorf Airport in Germany can reduce their travel time to and from the airport by using an automated parking attendant called ''Ray.'' Elly Park reports.
STORY: Stress-free parking is guaranteed at Germany's Dusseldorf Airport, where travellers can call on the help of "Ray," the world's first robot concierge to park and deliver cars to their owners automatically. Developed by Bavarian firm, Serva Transport Systems, Ray is programmed to save both space and time, says software engineer Thomas Nagel. (SOUNDBITE) (German) SOFTWARE ENGINEER OF THE DEVELOPER FIRM, THOMAS NAGEL, SAYING: "We are able to park the cars in such a way that really saves space. One can park between 40 percent and 60 percent more cars in the lot, which of course is always an important matter. Especially at airports, in big cities, wherever. And so we came up with the idea to optimize that." Upon arrival, travellers have to park their car at a delivery box. After the driver calls for the robot on a touch screen it wheels the vehicle to the desired parking spot. And when they return, Ray delivers it directly to the flyer. Airport representative Thomas Koetter thinks that passengers will appreciate the automated service. (SOUNDBITE) (German) DUSSELDORF AIRPORT REPRESENTATIVE, THOMAS KOETTER, SAYING: "We do notice that there is a target audience of passengers at the airport who quite simply do not want to spend their time tediously searching parking spots in the mornings and evenings. It is, of course, in many cases the business travellers who must catch very early flights." Using Ray costs drivers 4 euros ( 5.44 USD) per hour or 29 euros (39 USD) per day. But passengers say it's a price worth paying to ensure peace of mind. (SOUNDBITE) (German) PASSERBY, HUBERT ESSER, SAYING: "I would definitely give it a try. And if it were a success, I would continue to use it." (SOUNDBITE) (German) VOLKER CHRISTMANN, SAYING: "Certainly, that has a lot of advantages for me as a business traveller." Currently, 249 parking spots are reserved for "Ray." If it proves popular, Dusseldorf airport will consider adding more spots in other areas of the parking lot.