Heathrow pilots first airside autonomous vehicle

The self-driving vehicle, the CargoPod. Source: IAG

The first airside trial of a self-driving vehicle was completed by IAG Cargo, in partnership with software company Oxbotica, at London Heathrow Airport today.

“We’ve previously trialled autonomous vehicles on public roads but this is the first test of how they could operate airside at an airport,” said Oxbotica CEO, Graeme Smith.

The “CargoPod” was designed to help IAG understand how autonomous vehicles could work in an airside environment and enable the carrier and Heathrow to assess the potential opportunities for the use of autonomous vehicles in airport environments in the future.

The vehicle spent three and a half weeks running along a cargo route around the airside perimeter collecting over 200 kilometres of data.

“The trial has yielded valuable insights,” said IAG Cargo CEO, Lynne Embleton.

To watch a short video of the CargoPod in action, click here.

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