Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport in the US has started testing an autonomous tractor for its luggage area.
ThorDrive, a developer of software solutions related to automated and unmanned technology, has designed this autonomous vehicle.
The autonomous vehicle has been created in such a way as to avoid aircraft, workers and anything else that it might encounter on the runway.
In case of any obstruction, the vehicle will stop on its own.
The autonomous vehicle will be equipped with cameras and sensors on the front of its base.
The airport stated that ThorDrive has been testing the diesel vehicle for about a year, with plans to introduce an electric one soon.
The proof of concept was released by the company a month ago.
ThorDrive business development vice-president Eddie Shelton said: “We intend to have salable units by the end of the year. For the near future, we intend to obviously extend that into a leadership position and autonomous vehicles in aviation and then also proliferate our technologies to other ground support equipment.”
CVG stated that it has already discussed the technology with airlines and ground handlers.
CVG strategic innovation senior manager Naashom Marx said: “Most recently we did do an ordinance around autonomous things. So, we want to make sure people on our campus, and people looking to come onto our campus know that we are open to the idea. We will want to make sure there are standards, and safety is number one.”
These self-driving vehicles, costing around $150,000, have been manufactured by Wollard International.
Recently, airport management company Schiphol commenced the testing of an autonomous baggage tractor at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands.
The testing is being carried out in collaboration with Smart Airport Systems and KLM Ground Services.