France airport has become the first to test an autonomous baggage tractor in a working environment.
The tractor is the latest example of how a growing number of industries are looking to utilize the fast-developing technology.
Air France, where the tractor is being tested, said the introduction of the driverless vehicle takes it “one step closer to creating the smart airport of the future.”
Built by Charlatte Autonom, the autonomous baggage tractor is designed to improve safety and enhance baggage flow performance, at the same freeing up operators to “focus on decision-making and management actions, which saves time and efficiency when handling aircraft,” the airport said.
The Autonom Tract AT135, can be driven manually and it resembles a regular baggage tractor with a driving seat and steering wheel.
It’s also packed with powerful autonomous systems that includes an array of sensors and cameras, efficient GPS technology, for safe and accurate navigation.
The battery-powered truck has a top speed of 25 mph.
When the passengers’ baggage arrives at the sorting area, an airport worker places it in containers connected to the autonomous tractor.
The worker then uses a touchscreen in the vehicle to select the destination, sending it on its way.
When it reaches the aircraft, the baggage is loaded onto the plane, after which the vehicle is returned to the baggage sorting area for the next lot of baggage.
Earlier in October, Riders used Waymo’s robo-taxi service in Arizona and took trips in vehicles without backup drivers.