GATWICK'S 300 airside vehicles are stationary 90% of the time – as staff attend to aircraft and passengers – however a trial of electric-powered autonomous vehicles will soon see workers shuttled between popular locations on the airfield when it starts later this summer, the airport has announced.
The trial is thought to be the first of its kind for any airport in the world and - if successful and scaled up – could lead to airfield transport needs being met from a much smaller pool of autonomous vehicles, reducing the need for such large vehicle fleets, reducing emissions and saving on costs.
If the technology is proven in an airfield environment and following further trials, this project may be the precursor to a wide range of other autonomous vehicles being used on airport, including aircraft push back tugs, passenger load bridges, baggage tugs and transportation buses.
No passengers or aircraft will be involved in this trial, which will be limited to airside roads between the airport’s North and South terminals.
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