Two Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (MHI) Group companies have reached an agreement with Stanley Robotics, a French venture-backed company, on joint development of Japan's first business in advanced autonomous handling robots enabling automated valet parking service and automated transportation of finished vehicles. Stanley Robotics is a startup offering the world's first automated valet parking systems employing autonomous handling robots, with systems already in operation at airports in France and the UK.
Use of autonomous handling robots offers a number of significant benefits: greater convenience for users of large car parks, relief from manpower shortages in the transportation of finished vehicles at car manufacturing sites, 24/7 operation, reduced carbon emissions, etc. By combining Stanley Robotics' autonomous handling robots with MHI Group's accumulated expertise in mechanical parking garages, traffic flow management systems, and unmanned system surveillance/management systems, services will be provided matching diverse customer needs.
Ahead of full-scale adoption of highly automated driving systems, provision of automated valet parking services by autonomous handling robots enables efficient use of limited garage space at shopping malls, commercial complexes and amusement parks. Drivers stand to benefit from significantly enhanced convenience, freed from the stress of searching for a parking space or parking far from their destination. Automated systems engineered to transport finished vehicles enable 24/7 operation at car factories, port facilities, motor pools, relieving shortages of skilled drivers and providing safe vehicle transport at low cost.
MHI Group has also concluded an agreement with Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd calling for cooperation in demonstration testing ahead of deployment of the country's first automated valet parking system. Discussions will now turn to selecting a candidate site for testing the system at large commercial facilities and airports operated by Mitsubishi Estate.
MHI Group is currently taking steps to develop its solutions business in "New Mobility & Logistics" as a growth strategy under its 2021 Medium-Term Business Plan, and this project is one of various initiatives focusing on the development of infrastructure to support "CASE"* era automobiles. Going forward, under its cooperative arrangement with Stanley Robotics, the Company aims to provide new automated, labor-saving mobility services centered on its business in parking garages.
"CASE" is an acronym derived from the words "connected," "autonomous," "shared" and "electric." It refers to the current technological trend in the automotive industry to create next-generation mobility services that offer outstanding safety and convenience.
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