Autonomous baggage vehicles will drive down airport CO2

Driverless baggage vehicles: Auto-Dolly & Auto-DollyTug now at a huge airport in Asia

Aurrigo is a UK-based transport tech company that made driverless baggage vehicles for transporting baggage between terminals and planes. They are Auto-Dolly and Auto-DollyTug. These are now seen at work at huge airports in Asia.

Autonomous baggage vehicles will drive down airport CO2
Image credits- The Manufacturer

Auto-Dolly picks up a luggage container and drives itself to the plane. It can recognise people and objects on the road and avoid them. Once it reaches the plane, automatic mechanical arms transfer the luggage container onto the pallet loader. Auto-DollyTug is also a driverless electric vehicle designed to replace a traditional diesel tractor-type baggage haulier. (It can also be driven manually by a human driver.) It can carry a luggage container on top of the vehicle and tow up to four traditional, unpowered luggage dollies. It can carry 1.5 tons and tow a further 7.5 tons, which makes it unique because traditional models can only tow.

Singapore Changi Airport, one of the largest transportation hubs in Asia, has signed a multiyear partnership agreement with Aurrigo to develop and test the Auto-Dolly and Auto-DollyTug in a joint effort. The partners are also testing Aurrigo’s airport simulation software platform Auto-Sim.

Automation in Airports

In early February, UK auto supplier Aurrigo discussed bringing driverless baggage transport to airports. “We decided on day one we couldn’t make something that would travel at 70 miles an hour and go everywhere,” said David Keene, chief executive of Aurrigo, which is based in Coventry, part of England’s automotive heartland. “We just didn’t have the capital because we thought that would take billions.”

Aurrigo’s traditional auto business provides everything from wiring systems and centre consoles to exterior trim or key fobs to Volkswagen luxury unit Bentley, Tata unit Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin. Those vehicles are at the opposite end of the spectrum from Aurrigo’s AVs, which sometimes travel at “only just above walking speed,” Keene said. Aurrigo has developed a four-seater “auto pod” with no steering wheel or pedals for slow non-road routes such as on university campuses. The company has also designed the “Auto-Dolly” and “Auto-DollyTug” for airports and is working with Singapore’s Changi Airport, its lead customer, to automate baggage handling. Each dolly can carry a standardised container holding about 40 bags, and Aurrigo is doing tests unloading and loading a dummy plane at its fenced-off gate at Changi. By 2027, Keene said AVs will handle baggage at a whole terminal, and all of Changi’s planes will be loaded and unloaded by AVs by the decade’s end.