International Airlines Group (IAG) has signed an agreement with self-driving transport solutions provider Aurrigo International (Aurrigo) for the use of its autonomous solutions to support baggage handling at two US airports.
The deployment marks the tech company’s first US deal for its aviation vehicles.
David Keene, CEO, Aurrigo, said: “This partnership is an important milestone for us as it will be our first aviation operation in the USA – a key target market. Next 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.”
“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.”
Aurrigo will deploy solutions at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), with initial works seeing it test the solutions in November using the Auto-Sim platform and will run for three months.
Following this, the company will initiate a demonstration phase and an initial deployment of an Auto-DollyTug for autonomous baggage handling.
Aurrigo hopes to introduce a small fleet in the first half of 2025 post-demonstration.
Auto-DollyTug was designed to leverage technology used in conventional baggage tractors with the ULD (Unit Load device) carrying capability of an airport dolly. The company claims this makes for a more flexible and space-efficient vehicle.
The device is equipped with robotic arms on the body, meaning the vehicle can autonomously load and unload a ULD.
An Auto-DollyTug and three trailers carries four ULDs, which is more than 30% more than a traditional tug set-up of the same length, Aurrigo has said.
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