Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Axxicom Airport Caddy are testing autonomous mobility vehicles at the Dutch hub.
Fitted with Smart technology from personal transportation solutions specialist WHILL, the vehicles are already being used successfully at major facilities such as Narita and Kansai international airports in Japan. According to operator the Royal Schiphol Group, the service contributes to the airport’s objective of making travelling as easy as possible for people with reduced mobility.
Schiphol and Axxicom Airport Caddy also expect the autonomous mobility service to help improve customer satisfaction. During the pilot, a number of travellers will be taken to their gate by the autonomous vehicles, which will support the airport’s existing passenger assistants.
“We want to offer all travellers a pleasant travel experience at Schiphol. With the autonomous vehicles, we are exploring how travellers with reduced mobility can find their way independently and safely through the airport. We are curious about their experiences during this pilot,” said Patricia Vitalis, director airport operations and aviation partnerships at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
The autonomous vehicles have a luggage rack at the rear for hand luggage. The traveller can enter their destination on the service screen before the vehicle drives there independently. The vehicle also has sensors that take into account other travellers, obstacles and the surrounding environment. There is an emergency button on the vehicle and a seat belt. After arriving at the destination, the passenger disembarks and the vehicle drives itself back to the starting point, ready for the next travellers.
The pilot will last one week, before evaluation takes place and a decision is made on whether WHILL Autonomous Mobility Service becomes a permanent fixture at Schiphol.
Image: Royal Schiphol Group