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Driverless emission-free baggage vehicles trialled at Heathrow

Posted: 4 November 2019 | | No comments yet

New autonomous baggage vehicles will aim to reduce emissions and improve punctuality in order to limit flight delays at Heathrow.

Heathrow Airport trials driverless baggage vehicles

Copyright: British Airways

As part of British Airways’ £6.5 billion investment, autonomous, emission-free baggage vehicles are being trialled at Heathrow Airport.

The aim is for the new baggage carriers to help improve punctuality and ensure that every flight departs on time. The trial also contributes to BA’s wider environmental commitment to run an emissions-free airside operation.

Chris Garton, Heathrow Airport’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’re delighted to trial new technologies that will make our airport more efficient, safe and sustainable. Significant progress is being made with driverless vehicles and these trials will help us to provide the infrastructure necessary to be at the forefront of this technology.”

As part of a co-operative initiative, Heathrow Airport, British Airways and Aurrigo are working together in order to bring the new driverless baggage vehicles, known as dollies, to the airport.

Chief Executive Officer of Aurrigo, David Keene, said: “This is another fantastic example of British innovation and engineering. Our driverless pods are now in operation all around the world and the work with IAG, BA and Heathrow Airport shows how similar technology can be used in a completely different industry to deliver significant results.”

Approximately 75,000 bags are transported daily, back and forth between the baggage halls and aircraft. The new dollies can carry up to 40 bags in one journey, using the latest navigating technology memorising the airfield in order to determine the shortest and quickest route.

Unlike the current vehicles, the new dollies will depart for the aircraft as soon as each one is full, ultimately speeding up the aircraft loading process and limiting unnecessary delays. If successful, the dollies could be a permanent fixture by 2021.

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