Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), in partnership with Southwest Airlines, has started trials of self-driving robot pods to support passengers with reduced mobility (PRM).

Developed by Canada’s A&K Robotics, the electric pods have been designed to safely transport people with limited mobility.

The pods, which help passengers navigate airports more independently, are being tested at Atlanta Airport’s departure level in Concourse C.

ATL deputy general manager and chief commercial officer Jai Farrell said: “We have been looking for advanced mobile robotics solutions to improve operations and found that A&K has the most advanced autonomous micro-mobility solution for PRM assistance.

“This is the first time we are testing robots at the departure level and the results are very impressive. We are looking forward to expanding the tests and possibly adding A&K’s pods to our existing PRM operations, making it easier for our passengers to navigate the airport.”

The test is designed to improve the overall travel experience of passengers with reduced mobility at the airport.

A&K Robotics COO Jessica Yip said: “We designed our autonomous platform to positively impact the world, improve quality of life and play a major role in the future of transportation.

“To see our innovation being considered by Atlanta Airport to enhance the travel experience of passengers with limited mobility, is exhilarating. We are looking forward to collaborating with the Airport Authority and the Southwest team to bring the best experience possible for the PRMs.”

In May last year, Worldwide Flight Services opened a new cargo handling terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.