Vanderlande’s FLEET baggage handling solution has been awarded Red Dot: Best of the Best, the leading classification in the company’s design competition.

The event credits the best products manufactured each year with the Best of the Best award reserved for designs that the panel of experts deem to be of a superior quality. Only 1% of entries receive this recognition.

By utilising intelligent autonomous vehicle technology, FLEET replaces the need for fixed conveyors and sorting systems.

Each individual vehicle carries a single bag and determines the most optimal route through an airport. This not only helps to future-proof baggage logistics but provides more flexibility and space efficiency. It will enable airports to adapt to a fast-changing world.

In addition, FLEET consumes up to 50% less energy compared to traditional baggage handling systems. Its design also means that vehicles can be recycled, which contributes to a circular economy.

FLEET is resilient by nature. In the unlikely event that a vehicle fails to operate, others can manoeuvre around it, which means that only one bag will be affected and guarantees operational certainty.

In addition, a vehicle can be given priority, helping to safeguard the delivery of bags on time. Real-time track and trace of individual bags can also be facilitated, taking the performance of any baggage operation to the next level.

The Red Dot Awards date back over 60 years and is one of the world’s largest design competitions. This year, designers and manufacturers from 59 countries submitted more than 6,300 entries, with the hope of securing the international seal of outstanding design quality.

Over the course of several days, a jury of around 40 members assessed the products individually based on strict judging criteria such as the level of innovation, functionality, ergonomics and durability.

Vanderlande executive vice-president airports and member of the board Andrew Manship says: “Put simply, this accolade is an exciting confirmation that Vanderlande is on the right path with FLEET. It is also testament to the hard work and creativity of everyone involved with the FLEET solution.

“While its sleek design is a crucial factor, the award also indicates that the industry is receptive to the total concept of the solution. That is, the seamless combination of system, software and service.

Red Dot Award founder and CEO professor Dr Peter Zec says: “Winning the Red Dot: Best of the Best award is a well-earned recognition for excellent design performance. These products in particular are all characterised by an innovative symbiosis of aesthetics and function.

“The fact that such a small number of entries received the top distinction is proof of the rigorous nature of the judging criteria applied in the competition. I want to congratulate the laureates sincerely on their success.”

The award winners will be celebrated at the Red Dot Gala on 9 July 2018. The Red Dot: Best of the Best laureates will receive their trophies on stage at Essen’s opera house, the Aalto Theatre, during the award ceremony.

At the subsequent Designers’ Night in the Red Dot Design Museum Essen, the Red Dot award laureates will receive their certificates. FLEET will then be seen as part of a four-week exhibition featuring all of the award-winning innovations, creating the world’s largest showcase of contemporary design.