Self-Driving Aircraft Towing Vehicles: A Preliminary Report

AAAI Conferences

We introduce an application of self-driving vehicle technology to the problem of towing aircraft at busy airports from gate to runway and runway to gate. Autonomous towing can be supervised by human ramp- or ATC controllers, pilots, or ground crew. The controllers provide route information to the tugs, assisted by an automated route planning system. The planning system and tower and ground controllers work in conjunction with the tugs to make tactical decisions during operations to ensure safe and effective taxiing in a highly dynamic environment. We argue here for the potential for significantly reducing fuel emissions, fuel costs, and community noise, while addressing the added complexity of air terminal operations by increasing efficiency and reducing human workload. This paper describes work-in-progress for developing concepts and capabilities for autonomous engines-off taxiing using towing vehicles.

Coolio arrested at LAX on suspicion of possessing stolen, loaded gun, police say

Los Angeles Times

Police arrested the rapper Coolio on Saturday after authorities said they found a loaded, stolen firearm in his carry-on bag at a security checkpoint inside Los Angeles International Airport. Around 10:50 a.m., airport police responded to Terminal 3 after receiving a report about a prohibited item in the screening area, spokeswoman Alicia Hernandez said in a statement. Police took possession of a carry -on bag on the X -ray screening belt and detained a 39-year-old man who claimed the bag, Hernandez said. Authorities soon discovered that the bag "contained items belonging to one of the suspect's traveling companions," who had left the screening area and boarded a departing plane, Hernandez said. Police then detained Coolio, 53, "who upon questioning claimed ownership and possession of the carry -on bag," Hernandez said.

The airports of the future are here


No matter how well-regarded a particular airport happens to be, the slog from curb to cabin is pretty much the same wherever you go. A decades-old paradigm of queues, security screens, snack vendors, and gate-waiting prevails--the only difference is the level of stress. Transiting a modern hub such as Munich or Seoul is more easily endured than threading your way through the perpetual construction zones that pass for airports around New York. The sky portal of the 2040s, however, is likely to be free of such delights. Many of us will be driven to the terminal by autonomous cars; our eyes, faces, and fingers will be scanned; and our bags will have a permanent ID that allows them to be whisked from our homes before we even set out.

Air Taxi Skyport Location Problem for Airport Access Artificial Intelligence

Air taxis are poised to be an additional mode of transportation in major cities suffering from ground transportation congestion. Among several potential applications of air taxis, we focus on their use within a city to transport passengers to nearby airports. Specifically, we consider the problem of determining optimal locations for skyports (enabling pick-up of passengers to airport) within a city. Our approach is inspired from hub location problems, and our proposed method optimizes for aggregate travel time to multiple airports while satisfying the demand (trips to airports) either via (i) ground transportation to skyport followed by an air taxi to the airport, or (ii) direct ground transportation to the airport. The number of skyports is a constraint, and the decision to go via the skyport versus direct ground transportation is a variable in the optimization problem. Extensive experiments on publicly available airport trips data from New York City (NYC) show the efficacy of our optimization method implemented using Gurobi. In addition, we share insightful results based on the NYC data set on how ground transportation congestion can impact the demand and service efficiency in such skyports; this emerges as yet another factor in deciding the optimal number of skyports and their locations for a given city.

Robots and AI – the technology coming to airports will blow your mind


Perhaps you've bumped into Mildred, Carla or Oscar on your recent travels. They're not real people but avatars of chatbots – concocted by Lufthansa, Avianca and Air New Zealand respectively – or artificial intelligence (AI) powered computer programs accessed on your smartphone that enable you to have a simulated conversation of sorts. Now airports are getting in on the act, and it's all part of a paradigm shift towards self-service and interactions with technologies that offer "personal" information to help us on our way through the terminal. It's a shift confirmed in the findings of the Passenger IT Trends Survey released by Sita, the provider of much of the digital infrastructure that underpins airport and airline communications and operations worldwide. The survey found that face-to-face check-in is now down to 46 per cent of passengers, and since last year's survey, self-service bag-tagging has risen from 31 per cent to 47 per cent.