Schiphol Airport is testing an autonomous luggage transport vehicle.

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Schiphol has begun a process of testing an autonomous luggage transport vehicle, which will take the luggage to the plane. The goal is to find out if this technology is safe and effective, thus diminishing human contact. It is also desired to check how automatic vehicles can be integrated into airport traffic.

The process will last until the end of the month and is carried out in collaboration with KLM Ground Services and Smart Airport Systems. The testing began in an area where the entire luggage transport process is simulated. In the second phase, the process will continue in an operational environment to transport the luggage to the aircraft.

The automatic vehicle is loaded into the baggage area, after which it will navigate to an aircraft area on a previously established fixed route. During the tests, the vehicle shall be accompanied by an operator who supervises the vehicle to stop it, if necessary. The vehicle was manufactured by the ground handling equipment supplier TLD, and EasyMile provided the software.

Rotterdam The Hague Airport and Eindhoven Airport will also be testing these autonomous luggage vehicles this spring.

Royal Schiphol Group anticipates that by 2050, day-to-day operations at airports will change significantly. Airport ground activities (luggage transport, passenger transport and aircraft towing) will be intelligent and autonomous. The aim is to finally replace all man-made vehicles in the aircraft area with an interconnected fleet of autonomous, emission-free vehicles in order to guarantee and improve the quality of long-term services.

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