Changi Airport Group  and Aurrigo International are testing the latest version of the Auto-DollyTug electric-powered autonomous vehicle

Auto-DollyTug, which has new ground handling capabilities and is more manoeuvrable, will be put through different scenarios to assess its efficiency and speed when it comes to aircraft turnaround times.

Combining the utility of a baggage tractor and the unit load device (ULD) carrying capability of an airport dolly, the latest Auto-DollyTug can rotate in its own length and, using the ground-breaking sideways drive system, move directly sideways and slide into tight spaces, enabling the swift delivery of a single ULD even when other GSE equipment is in operation around the aircraft.

In an industry first, the new Auto-DollyTug also features Aurrigo’s auto-loading and release management system that adds bi-directional robotic arms to the body to allow the vehicle to autonomously load and unload the ULD from itself.

Professor David Keene, chief executive officer at Aurrigo, explained, “Auto-DollyTug is the result of clean-sheet-of-paper thinking, as we didn’t just want a modified conventional tractor that could tow some dollies to an area near the aircraft without a driver. Our technology can not only carry a ULD on its body, which maximises carrying capacity without increasing the length of the train, it can also autonomously transfer that ULD directly onto a JCPL or high loader.”

He continued, “This level of capability has been made possible by designing a vehicle to be electric and autonomous from day one. We have never built a diesel-powered airport vehicle so we don’t have to work around the compromises of a legacy GSE vehicle product. This third generation of the Auto-DollyTug has been designed to incorporate the experience we have gained from the extensive airside testing already carried out with our second-generation vehicle at Changi Airport.

The third generation Auto-DollyTug at Changi Airport
The third generation Auto-DollyTug at Changi Airport Aurrigo International