The Perfect Car Parking Valet: Man or Machine?

What is there not to love about valet parking? You drive up, hand someone your keys and they zip off to park your car. However, not everyone would agree that this is such a great thing. Some of the anxieties might include:

  • Will the valet person really take care of my car? No bumps or dings?
  • Are the things in my car going to be safe? From the valet? From someone else?
  • Is my car going to be parked in a secure area?
  • Why do I hear all those squealing tires?
  • Does the valet have to drive my car through city traffic?
  • I’ve heard stories about valet parking…
  • How much do I have to tip?
This is not an effort to disparage anyone in the valet parking industry. These are simply questions anyone might have when giving a complete stranger control of something as expensive and valued as a car along with all the personal stuff inside.

Would it make a difference if the valet was a machine instead of human? Let’s re-visit the earlier concerns but replace the valet person with an automated parking system (APS).

  • In an APS, no one drives your car, therefore bumps and dings are a virtual impossibility
  • Since you maintain control of the keys, no strangers enter the car
  • With no public access, the parking area of an APS is very secure
  • Your car is gently transported by machine to and from its parking spot
  • The car is parked right in the facility where you drop it off
  • Have you heard any stories about automated parking systems?
  • The APS does not look for a tip nor have anyway to accept one
To be fair, there are some advantages the human valet may have over the mechanical valet. The mechanical valet can’t offer a smile or cheer you up after a bad day at work. Don’t expect the mechanical valet to help you put your groceries in your car, either. Then again, the automated parking system won’t change the radio station or move the driver’s seat.

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