British Airways (BA) has announced plans to test AI-powered autonomous robots at Heathrow Terminal 5 to further enhance punctuality for passengers.

From next year, the robots will be used in the terminal to guide passengers through the airport. This will allow the airline’s staff to focus on answering more complex queries.

Produced by BotsAndUs, the robots are capable of interacting in different languages with the help of translation technology. They can provide answers to a variety of different questions, including real-time flight information.

Equipped with geolocation technology and advanced sensors, the robots can traverse across the airport and transport passengers to different locations such as BA’s Special Assistance and Family Check-In zones.

British Airways head of innovation Ricardo Vidal said: “We are always looking for new and innovative ways to use automation to help our customers enjoy a faster and smoother journey through the airport and beyond.

“These smart robots are the latest innovation, allowing us to free up our people to deal with immediate issues and offer that one-on-one service we know our customers appreciate. In the future, I envisage a fleet of robots working side-by-side with our people, offering a truly seamless travel experience.”

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British Airways has also launched a scheme to train employees as part of its First Contact Resolution Programme at Heathrow.

Under the airlines’ £6.5bn investment plan to improve customer experience, British Airways has introduced automation and AI in its check-in processes to reduce wait times.

Last month, British Airways commenced using AI to ensure the timely departure of flights at Heathrow Terminal 5.

The airline also installed 80 automated check-in kiosks and automated bag-drop machines at the terminal.