Autonomous wheelchair trials start at Abu Dhabi International Airport

Abu Dhabi Airports Co says concept trials will continue during 2019 to boost mobility ahead of Midfield Terminal's launch

Autonomous wheelchairs have been launched at AUH.
Autonomous wheelchairs have been launched at AUH.

Abu Dhabi Airports Co (Adac) has partnered with national airline Etihad Airways, air transport information and communications technology (ICT) company Sita, and personal electric vehicle supplier Whill to launch a proof-of-concept trail of autonomous wheelchairs at Abu Dhabi International Airport  (AUH) ahead of the launch of its Midfield Terminal complex to boost mobility.

An Adac spokesperson said the new tech would be the first of its kind used by an airport in the region.

Trials of the autonomous wheelchairs at AUH will take place through the rest of 2019 and will involve activities such as mapping the airport, ensure wheelchairs offer boarding information, have automated braking, and comprise sensors to detect obstacles in the wheelchair’s path.

Speaking of the trials, chief executive officer of Adac, Bryan Thompson, said: “With the beginning of these trials, we hope to be able allow restricted mobility passengers and their families freedom of movement around AUH, and the opportunity to enjoy all the airport has to offer.

"We have worked hard with our partners, including Etihad Airways, Sita, and Whill to bring this technology to our airport passengers. With the beginning of these trials, we hope to ensure that this can be used safely and securely by passengers from across the globe.”

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