Changi Airport Group, in collaboration with Aurrigo International, has initiated trials for the revolutionary Auto-DollyTug, an electric-powered autonomous vehicle designed to enhance baggage handling efficiency. This advanced vehicle integrates the functionality of a baggage tractor with the unit load device (ULD) carrying capacity, aiming to streamline aircraft turnaround times at one of the world's busiest airports.
The Auto-DollyTug stands out for its ability to rotate within its own length and its unique sideways drive system, which allows it to maneuver into tight spaces easily. This feature is particularly beneficial for delivering ULDs directly to the aircraft, even in congested ground support equipment areas. The vehicle's innovative design includes bi-directional robotic arms, enabling autonomous loading and unloading of ULDs, a first in the aviation industry.
Professor David Keene, CEO of Aurrigo, emphasized the vehicle's groundbreaking design, noting that it was conceived to be electric and autonomous from the outset. Unlike conventional ground support equipment (GSE) that may be adapted from diesel-powered vehicles, the Auto-DollyTug's design does not compromise on efficiency or environmental sustainability. The latest iteration of the Auto-DollyTug benefits from insights gained during extensive airside testing of its second-generation prototype at Changi Airport.
Since February 2022, Aurrigo has been testing earlier versions of the Auto-DollyTug at Changi Airport, evaluating its performance in Singapore's challenging climate, characterized by high humidity and frequent extreme rain events. This real-world testing environment has allowed Aurrigo to refine its technology for optimal performance in airside operations.
Ms. Poh Li San, Senior Vice President of Terminal 5 Specialised Systems at Changi Airport Group, expressed enthusiasm for the potential of autonomous vehicles like the Auto-DollyTug to automate airside operations. Changi Airport's commitment to innovation is evident in its willingness to pilot such advanced technologies, underscoring its role as a leader in airport efficiency and passenger service.
The trial of the Auto-DollyTug at Changi Airport marks a significant step towards the adoption of autonomous technology in airport operations, promising to enhance the efficiency of baggage handling processes and support the airport's ongoing efforts to improve operational productivity and reduce its carbon footprint.