2 APRIL 2018
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In a trial that could be a first step toward widespread use of autonomous vehicles on airfields across the world, Gatwick is planning to be the first airport to use the high-tech transports to shuttle staff around.
The trial, due to start later this summer, is thought to be the first of its kind for any airport in the world. Gatwick says if it is successful and scaled up, it could lead to airfield transport needs being met from a much smaller pool of autonomous vehicles.
This would reduce the need for large vehicle fleets, reducing emissions and saving on costs and could lead to a wide range of other autonomous vehicles being used, including aircraft push-back tugs, passenger load bridges and baggage tugs.
No passengers or aircraft will be involved in the trial, which will be limited to airside roads between Gatwick’s two terminals and is being run in partnership with software development company Oxbotica.
Gatwick chief information officer Cathal Corcoran said: “If this trial proves successful then in the future we could have an Uber-like service operating across the airfield which staff can hail as and when they need to travel.”
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