4 NOVEMBER 2019
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Autonomous emissions-free baggage vehicles have gone on trial with British Airways at Heathrow in a move the airline says will help it to improve punctuality further and “depart every flight on time”.
BA runs up to 800 flights a day to and from Heathrow, transporting around 75,000 bags back and forth between baggage halls and aircraft. The trial is believed to be a world first.
It is being run in conjunction with the airport authorities and autonomous vehicle specialist Aurrigo, and involves driverless baggage vehicles, known as dollies, carrying up to 40 bags in one journey.
The dollies use the latest navigating technology to memorise the airfield to determine the shortest route to transport luggage. Unlike current vehicles, they depart for the aircraft as soon as each one is full, speeding up the loading process.
BA says the trial, in addition to improving operational efficiency, also forms part of the airline’s wider environmental commitment to run an emissions-free airside operation.
Aurrigo CEO David Keene said: “Our driverless pods are an example of British innovation and engineering in operation worldwide. The Heathrow trial shows how similar technology can be used in a completely different industry to deliver significant results.”
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