Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Aurrigo announces first US deployment of its autonomous aviation vehicle with International Airlines Group

Aurrigo announces first US deployment of its autonomous aviation vehicle with International Airlines Group

Aurrigo International plc has commenced its programme with International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and LEVEL, and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) for the deployment and demonstration of its autonomous baggage tractor, Auto-DollyTug®.

To mark the start of the partnership, the parties gathered at CVG, a leading airport in autonomous technology.

“This partnership is an important milestone for us as it will be our first aviation operation in the USA – a key target market. This year we will have our autonomous vehicles operating at airports in the UK, Europe, Asia and now the US, showing the clear demand there is in the aviation sector for our technology” said Aurrigo CEO, Professor David Keene. Prof. Keene continued “We’re pleased to be partnering with IAG beyond the UK and to be building a presence at a key international airport. We are demonstrating vehicles that are designed from the ground up to be electric and autonomous to provide substantial efficiency improvements in future ground handling operations.”

READ: Aurrigo’s new autonomous platform

“As one of the fastest-growing passenger and cargo hubs in the US and globally, CVG is always looking for innovative technologies to improve capacity and efficiency,” said Candace McGraw, chief executive officer, CVG. “We look forward to working with Aurrigo and IAG to identify potential solutions to help address many of the issues that aviation currently faces: staffing shortages, safety, capacity and environmental concerns, among others.”

The meeting today marks the project kick off for an initial deployment of one Auto-DollyTug® scheduled for spring of 2024. Ground-breaking technology such as this, brings collaboration across public and private sector, from the airport, airline and ground handlers integrating the technology to the region that it will benefit.

“As the Birthplace of Aviation, Ohioans are quick to welcome new technologies that improve air travel,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “The world is better connected to Greater Cincinnati than ever before, and Aurrigo’s decision to test their first autonomous baggage dollies in the United States at CVG will advance the airport’s efficiencies and strengthen the region’s economic competitiveness.”

“Aurrigo’s decision to bring its autonomous baggage vehicles to the United States for the first time demonstrates the valuable partnerships developed since British Airways launched round-trip service from Cincinnati to London last year,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “This new route, assisted through the JobsOhio Air Service Restoration Program and REDI Cincinnati, is attracting Aurrigo’s innovative products and services that will enhance CVG passengers’ travel experience.”

READ: Aurrigo International plc celebrates 30th birthday with major recruitment drive

On successful completion of the demonstration through 2024, Aurrigo expects that this will lead to the expansion of additional vehicles throughout 2025.

Auto-Sim® is Aurrigo’s latest software that creates a 3D digital twin to visualize today’s operations and model the impact of new technologies such as electric and or autonomous vehicles.

Auto-DollyTug® is an all-electric, autonomous vehicle that combines the utility of a baggage tractor, with the ULD (Unit Load device) carrying capability of an airport dolly all in one, making a more flexible and space efficient vehicle. This means that a combination of an Auto-DollyTug® towing three trailers carry four ULDs, which is 30% more than a traditional tug set-up of the same overall length. Auto-DollyTug® incorporates robotic arms on the body, allowing the vehicle to autonomously load and unload a ULD itself, for a truly end-to-end autonomous operation.

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James Graham

James Graham is an award-winning transport media journalist with a long background in the commercial freight sector, including commercial aviation and the aviation supply chain. He was the initial Air Cargo Week journalist and retuned later for a stint as editor. He continues his association as editor of the monthly supplements. He has reported for the newspaper from global locations as well as the UK.

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