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AWARD´s Airport Use Case Testing

What is the airport use case?

AWARD is developing and operating safe autonomous transportation systems (ATS) in a wide range of real-life logistic use cases in a variety of different scenarios. One of these scenarios is the Autonomous Ground Support Equipment in Avinor OSL Gardermoen airport (Norway). More specifically, AWARD is demonstrating an autonomous baggage tractor transporting goods in indoor and outdoor environments. The ultimate goal is to develop units that are fully autonomous in all weather conditions.

The phases

Phase 0 of the Autonomous Bagage Transport (ABT) implementation started in September 2021, when an autonomous luggage tractor was delivered at the Avinor Oslo airport. The purpose of Phase 0 was to ensure that the tractor was configured in a safe and secure manner, so that it is safe to carry out operational tests. Phase 0 was completed late September.

In phase 1, production-like operations were carried out in a sheltered area. Phase 1 included training of the operators and was concluded in December 2021.

Phase 2 is planned to include realistic tests in operational areas. The tests will be performed on operational roads in parallel with other traffic. Extensive risk analysis will start in January 2022 to secure both personnel and equipment, and to identify risk reduction measures to be implemented. Phase 2 is planned for February 2022.

Stay Tuned!

Be sure to stay connected with us to keep up with the latest developments. We’re committed to bringing you the most current information as we progress through this testing phase. As the testing concludes, we’ll update this blog with the final results and an array of captivating photos, giving you an immersive glimpse into our journey. Your curiosity is our motivation – so watch this space for the exciting revelations that await at the culmination of our testing endeavour!

Latest updates (January 2024)

In the AIRPORT use case, the EZTow autonomous vehicle is making strides in operational testing and integration. Achievements include successful sensor tests under environmental conditions, completion of Taxi Lane Departure (TLD) tests and ongoing winter tire grip assessments. The next steps involve additional sensor testing in snowy conditions, restarting data collection, and progressing to manual and automated phases of operation. A noteworthy point for future coordination is the sharing of data between work packages to streamline efforts. The EZTow’s route for luggage and cargo handling includes predefined start and end points within the airport, with a designated waiting area, optimizing the flow of ground operations and enhancing efficiency in airport logistics.

"Last year in 2023, on the tarmac, in Oslo, we're learning from snow conditions and we're on our way to face that: we ran tests on site to determine, in the future, how to integrate autonomous driving systems of future logistic products. That includes hardware and software last modifications before final testing in January 2024: those tests will simulate logistics operations of the EZTow in the airport."
Julien Collier
EasyMile, Project Coordinator

Latest updates (March 2024)

Following the successful completion of the final test at Oslo Airport in January 2024, we are now in the midst of analyzing the results. During the test, we ran the mission route in both manual and auto mode several times to evaluate if there is any added value to deploy an autonomous mode in real logistics operations regardless of the weather. Currently, our partners are analyzing the results to identify implications and opportunities for the future of automation in the airport environment.

Some of the key highlights from the test include:

  • Simulation of airport conditions in the test track.
  • Testing of 10 different scenarios, including passable objects, vehicle overtaken, intersection, etc.
  • Management of various obstacles such as cars, pedestrians, barriers, and suitcases.
  • Simulation of rain up to 100mm/h.
  • Management of trailers in the airport.
  • Operations in snow conditions completed, with data currently under analysis.

The EZTow autonomous tow tractor has recently marked a significant achievement at Oslo Airport. Braving the snow, EZTow operated at Level 4 of autonomous driving, showcasing unparalleled resilience and innovation in autonomous mobility solutions. Check out the video of EZTow braving the snow!

Keep following AWARD on Linkedin and Twitter to keep updated with its next developments.