Subscribe Free
in Airports

Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Airports complete guest trials of autonomous wheelchairs

Posted 17 December 2019 · Add Comment

Etihad Airways, together with its partners Abu Dhabi Airports Corporation, and WHILL personal electric vehicle supplier, have completed guest trials of their innovative autonomous wheelchairs at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

 

The trials ran between 2 to 6 December and were phase two of the pilot project, which was launched in September 2019. The trials involved over 60 guests with restricted mobility, who self-drove the wheelchairs, navigating crowded areas and lounges before safely arriving at their gate. Upon completion of the guest journey, the wheelchairs returned autonomously back to the docking station without requiring any human interference.

The WHILL autonomous wheelchairs are fitted with sensors that detect obstructions and have an automatic ‘stop’ function, enabling the trial participants to travel around the airport independently of Etihad Airways or Abu Dhabi International Airport staff. During the trial, assistance from porters was on hand to guide guests on usage of the wheelchairs and provide support whenever required.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, chief operating officer, Etihad Aviation Group said: “The feedback received from guests who participated in these trials was overwhelmingly positive, and the airline looks forward to the possibility of offering its guests the choice of autonomous wheelchairs in the future. Etihad’s commitment to innovation remains strong, and the national airline is proud to invest in trials and projects like this, that give its guests a truly unique, seamless and independent experience when travelling with Etihad Airways.”

Ahmed Al Shamisi, acting chief operations officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, added: “Convenience is one of the most important factors in the traveler experience today. We want to make it even easier for passengers to enjoy our airports with ease. Through these trials, we have shown that restricted mobility passengers and their families can enjoy greater freedom of movement while still ensuring that the technology can be used safely and securely in our facilities.”

“Partnering with Etihad Airways for demonstration of the WHILL Autonomous Drive System was a natural fit. Their passion for inclusive innovation aligns with our company vision, and we are excited about what this means for airport terminal experiences in the future,” said Takeshi Ueda, Executive Vice President, MaaS from WHILL, “Seeing individuals experience the benefits of the seamless travel experience from security to boarding is so rewarding, and we are eager to translate this experience to airports across the globe.”

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Etihad Airways becomes first airline to issue sustainability-linked Sukuk

Etihad Airways has launched the world’s first Transition Sukuk and the first Sustainability-Linked financing in global aviation, under a Transition Finance Framework.

Flydubai touches down in the Maldives

Flydubai’s first flight to the Maldives touched down in Male’ on 27 October; marking the start of an up to four-times weekly service.

WMO and IATA agree to improve aircraft meteorological reporting

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and World Meteorological Organization have signed an agreement to increase and improve the automated reporting of meteorological data by commercial aircraft.

Alpha Aviation Simulator Centre officially opens

Alpha Aviation Simulator Centre has officially opened near nearby Sharjah International Airport.

Pioneer keeps ESAT and AFA on the cutting edge

Tunisia’s high-level training institutes are constantly updating their programmes to adjust to the growing need of the aeronautics sector.

Emirates Group wins GCC GOV award

The Emirates Group has been honoured at the GCC GOV HR Awards 2020 as this year's winner of the 'Best Nationalisation Initiative in the Private Sector' award.

CONNECT SK0110090421
See us at
Aviation MENA 2021World Defence Show 2022Saudi International Airshow 2021MEBAA Show 2021 BTCONNECT BT0610090421