YWG welcomes installation of autonomous mobility service
Winnipeg Richardson International Airport has welcomed the first permanent installation in North America of its autonomous mobility service.
WHILL, Inc., a leading developer and service provider of electric mobility chairs, has announced the first permanent installation in North America of its autonomous mobility service at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (YWG).
An estimated one in three passengers will need some form of assistance by the year 2038, making it difficult for airports to meet the additional demands that come with accommodating their needs. The WHILL autonomous mobility service relieves airlines of fulfilling wheelchair push demands and allows airline passengers to travel more freely by autonomously transporting them to their gates.
After the user selects their destination on a touch screen, the WHILL autonomous power chair proceeds to transport the passenger safely and reliably to the desired gate. The service covers the entire route from check-in counter to security checkpoint, and then to the departure gate to provide a seamless travel experience.
The WHILL autonomous mobility service has been tested during several development trials at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport since 2019 with excellent results.
“We’re excited to see our partnership with WHILL continue to grow to help meet the evolving needs of travellers,” commented Nick Hays, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “The addition of their innovative autonomous mobility device as a fully available service at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport is another example of our commitment to providing a more accessible and inclusive environment.”
The WHILL Autonomous Service is just one part of WHILL’s ecosystem designed to improve mobility and reduce barriers across a full spectrum of assistance levels needed by customers, from staying mobile in their home to travelling and navigating public spaces. In addition to autonomous drive technology, WHILL offers the award-winning Model C2 and Model F for full-time use, plus manual drive rentals for malls, museums, multi-day vacation rentals and a variety of other destinations.
Previous trials of the WHILL autonomous service in U.S. airports have included Atlanta, San Jose, and Grand Rapids. WHILL plans to announce partnerships with additional airports in North America in 2023.