It's already got driverless trains that take passengers from one terminal to another, now Gatwick is planning to introduce driverless buses that take them to their planes. The airport is trialling'electric-powered autonomous vehicles' for workers and says that if it's successful it could lead to driverless baggage trucks and transport buses for passengers and an'Uber-style' robot-car service for staff. The trial is thought to be the first of its kind for any airport in the world. Gatwick is trialling'electric-powered autonomous vehicles', pictured, for workers and says that if it's successful it could lead to driverless baggage trucks and transport buses for passengers and an'Uber-style' robot-car service for staff The airport says that its 300 airside vehicles are stationary 90 per cent of the time – as staff attend to aircraft and passengers - but that a trial of driverless cars will see workers shuttled between popular locations on the airfield when it starts later this summer. It said in a statement: 'The trial is thought to be the first of its kind for any airport in the world and - if successful and scaled up – could lead to airfield transport needs being met from a much smaller pool of autonomous vehicles, reducing the need for such large vehicle fleets, reducing emissions and saving on costs.
Gatwick claims it will be the first airport to operate self-driving cars "airside", using a system from Oxford University spin-off Oxbotica. The vehicles will move staff around the airport, but at this stage, they will not be used by airline passengers. If the six-month trial is successful, the airport says it may use autonomous vehicles for other purposes, such as "aircraft push back tugs, passenger load bridges, baggage tugs and transportation buses". There are about 40 potential airport applications. Gatwick says it has 300 airside vehicles and that they are stationary 90 percent of the time.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has long been touted as the transformative technology that will usher in the next generation of the logistics industry. While AI is already established in consumer tech, demonstrated by the plethora of virtual assistants, just how does AI work and how might it benefit the airfreight industry? AI simulates the human intelligence process by using complex algorithms and computer systems to acquire information, reach conclusions and solve problems. To make this work, AI requires building block technologies including big data and analytics and the internet of things which have all become highly technical and specialised technologies in their own right. For logistics to work most efficiently, the entire supply chain needs to generate a rich stream of data which can then be collected, analysed and used to optimise productivity.
A British online grocery store is aiming to launch the nation's first driverless delivery service. Ocado, which launched 17 years ago and makes deliveries from a string of warehouses across the country, has just started testing its first self-driving "CargoPod" truck built by U.K. tech firm Oxbotica. The 10-day trial involves the diminutive delivery vehicle trundling around a small part of London, bringing ordered groceries to the doors of existing customers. Equipped with the usual array of sensors, lasers, and cameras seen on other self-driving vehicles, the electric CargoPod has a top speed of 25 mph and can carry a total weight for 128 kg. It's designed primarily for short journeys or last-mile deliveries in urban or residential areas, taking relatively small orders to customers rather than weekly or monthly supplies.
Together, these sensors detect and visualise everything around the truck, including cars, pedestrians and lamp posts. The system works with Caesium, a cloud-based platform (also developed by Oxbotica) that can manage and coordinate fleets of autonomous vehicles. The company sells a "smart platform" which gives other companies access to its delivery infrastructure -- the technology behind its apps, its warehouses and delivery vehicles. So it's very important for us to keep innovating and to keep doing exciting technology projects, because that will give us a competitive advantage going forward."