Honda tests autonomous work vehicle at Toronto Airport

The demonstration is set to unveil the potential of Honda’s AWV which is aiming for full commericalisation.

Cat Vitale October 18, 2023

The all-electric Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle has been unveiled at Toronto Pearson Airport. Credit: Honda.

Japanese-based automobile manufacturer Honda has demonstrated its electric autonomous work vehicle (AWV) at the Toronto Pearson Airport with the aim of bringing new value to airfield operations.

The demonstration featured an autonomous fence inspection with applications including perimeter security analysis, aircraft equipment hauling and baggage cart towing.

According to Honda, the AWV is now aiming for commercialisation and is looking for partners to field test the system for future airfield operations.

The off-road vehicle is set to navigate its own inspection routes through the use of Honda’s software system, which will oversee the vehicle moving around worksites by setting start and stop points. The system can also work manually through the use of a remote control.

Additionally, the AWV features a variety of sensors that enable its autonomous features, including GPS for location, radar and lidar for obstacle detection and stereoscopic 3D cameras for remote monitoring. 

Jason VanBuren, systems engineering manager at Honda, emphasised the further collaboration opportunities expected between the manufacturer and airside operators.

Veovo advances airport operations with Lidar-based solution

Veovo, a prominent player in airport management solutions, has introduced Lidar technology into its Intelligent Airport Platform. This game-changing addition is poised to advance airport operations and elevate the overall passenger experience by significantly enhancing situational awareness.

The integration of Lidar technology reinforces Veovo’s solution for managing passenger flow. This solution has the capacity to cover extensive areas within and outside the airport, including low-light conditions. It is adaptable to various airport layouts, making it suitable for spaces with varying ceiling heights, long corridors and open areas. Beyond its primary function of anonymously measuring passenger movements, Lidar can effectively track a wide range of moving objects within the airport environment, from luggage to vehicles. This adaptability caters to the diverse needs of both passengers and airport authorities.

Comprehensive ecosystem

What sets Veovo’s Lidar technology apart is its seamless integration with their cloud-based analytics platform and other sensors like 3D cameras and people counters, forming a comprehensive ecosystem. Veovo CEO James Williamson highlights the significance of this integration: “With Veovo, airports are no longer bound by hardware limitations. Now operators can choose the perfect mix of sensor technology including Lidar, for their infrastructure, measurement and budget needs. They can even incorporate their existing sensors to protect their investments.”

Veovo’s platform, powered by machine learning, delivers real-time and historical data on queues and passenger movements. It goes further by predicting passenger arrivals and behaviors in the future. This innovation provides an efficient and cost-effective means of tracking and predicting wait times, monitoring occupancy and managing queues, even in unstructured or wide areas of the airport. Consequently, airport operators can make informed decisions regarding resource allocation and planning, thus improving efficiency and enhancing the overall passenger experience.

The integration of Lidar technology reinforces Veovo’s solution for managing passenger flow. (Image courtesy: Veovo)

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FlightGlobal webinar – Business Aviation rising to the sustainability challenge

This webinar will examine the progress being made and challenges being faced by the business aviation community as it pursues environmental strategies to meet the sector’s commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It will explore the big issues of the day, examining the pressure the sector is facing from green protest movements and potential exclusion from some airports on environmental grounds; the progress business aviation is making on Sustainable Aviation Fuels and Book & Claim; and discuss the technological and operational progress being made to reduce emissions. It will feature leading players to explain developments to date and what to expect in the coming year. Speakers Kurt Edwards Director General, International Business Aviation Council Kurt Edwards joined IBAC as the Director General in 2012 and leads business aviation advocacy through IBAC’s 15 member associations located across six continents. He has overseen IBAC’s increased outreach to industry, greater engagement with the International Civil Aviation Organization, growth of IBAC’s codes of best safety practices for business aircraft operators and ground handlers, and redoubled commitment to environmental programs. Prior to IBAC, Mr. Edwards held various senior-level positions in the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responsible for liaison with European authorities and for global environmental matters. Scott McElvaine Vice-President Business Development & Commercial Services, Pratt & Whitney Canada Christopher (Scott) McElvaine was named Vice President, Business Development & Commercial Services at Pratt & Whitney Canada in January 2022. Drawing on his knowledge of trends and market factors, he provides leadership in planning, directing and managing our next product and service strategy transformation. Scott Cutshall Senior Vice-President Strategy & Sustainability, Clay Lacy Aviation Scott leads strategic development activities and directs marketing, sustainability, and workforce development initiatives across Clay Lacy’s diverse line of business jet services. He is a third-generation pilot whose business aviation expertise spans a wide spectrum of disciplines. His passion for aviation started early. Upon receiving his B.S. in business management from Biola University, he became a Certified Flight Instructor with instrument and multi-engine instruction privileges. In 2000 he began working as a dispatcher for an aircraft management and sales organization with four aircraft that grew to over 75 business jets in 25 cities in the U.S. and China. During his 14-year tenure he served as operations manager, sales director and then vice president of marketing and aircraft management. Ève Laurier Vice President, Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs Ève Laurier is Vice President, Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs at Bombardier. A seasoned professional and senior executive leader, Ève brings more than 20 years of knowledge and experience in public relations, communications, corporate marketing and branding to Bombardier. Bombardier is a global leader in aviation, focused on designing, manufacturing, and servicing the world’s most exceptional business jets. Bombardier’s Challenger and Global aircraft families are renowned for their cutting-edge innovation, cabin design, performance, and reliability. Bombardier is also a leading force in making business aviation more sustainable. Ève’s mandate is to steward the brand journey internally and externally, around the world, and lead the company’s community engagement, employee and customer outreach. She is known to be a leader who shows genuine care for her teams and peers, and her accomplishments and strong involvement towards philanthropy and her community have contributed to her recognition as a role model for future generations of women. Based in Montréal, Québec, Ève holds an Executive Master of Business Administration from McGill and HEC Montréal and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Concordia University.

Hamad Airport partners with Atos and Royal Schiphol Group to implement digital passenger assistance kiosks


Hamad International Airport, in partnership with Atos and Royal Schiphol Group, has introduced Passenger Digital Assistance Kiosks as part of “overarching digital strategy to transform passenger experiences”.

Hamad International Airport, in partnership with Atos and Royal Schiphol Group, has introduced Passenger Digital Assistance Kiosks to enable seamless journeys for travellers. The kiosks provide easy access to information, assist in navigation and help passengers through live video calls to customer service agents.

“The new Passenger Digital Assistance Kiosks are part of our overarching digital strategy to transform passenger experiences,” said Suhail Kadri, Senior Vice President of Technology and Innovation, Hamad International Airport. “We are committed to investing in the latest technology and innovative solutions; to create the most seamless airport experience for all passengers traveling from and to Hamad International Airport, we are working with industry innovation leaders such as Atos and Royal Schiphol Group.”

The kiosks are multilingual with 20 language options. With the airport map for wayfinding, tey provide information related to flights, airport services, retail and F&B outlets and passenger events at the airport.

“Together with our strategic partner Schiphol, we are proud to have successfully delivered this solution at Hamad International Airport to improve the digital passenger experience, and to manage passenger flow more effectively especially during the airport’s critical peak periods,” said Marc Veelenturf, CEO of Middle East and Turkey, Atos.

Hear more from Hamad International Airport at FTE Global, Los Angeles, 19-21 September 2023. Suhail Kadri, Senior Vice President of Technology and Innovation, Hamad International Airport is speaking in the Future Airports conference track in ‘The Airport Technology Leaders Conversation’.

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Sustainable Journey: Navigating the Future of Aviation

The demand for sustainable mobility is growing rapidly while at the same time, the fight against climate change and atmospheric pollution has emerged as one of the paramount challenges for the European transportation sector. According to the EU Sustainable & Smart Mobility Strategy, the gradual change and modernization of European transportation should give way to a fundamental transformation. The scenarios presented in the EC’s strategy, aligned with those supporting the 2030 climate target plan, suggest that—with the right level of ambition—the combination of policy measures detailed in this strategy can achieve a 90% reduction in transport sector emissions by 2050. Air transport is increasingly perceived as one of the key carbon-intensive sectors. It’s often labelled a hard-to-abate industry, primarily because of technological limitations that make it difficult to directly reduce carbon emissions. The recently adopted EU policy measures and regulations, intended to make transport more sustainable, have established a stringent framework for the aviation value chain. In the absence of revolutionary net-zero aviation fuel and propulsion technologies, the aviation sector faces a monumental task to achieve the carbon dioxide emission targets set by the European Green Deal, among other EU strategies and policies. Currently, the largest infrastructure project in Europe is being built in Poland – Centralny Port Komunikacyjny. CPK is a planned multi-modal transport and interchange hub that will integrate air, rail and road transport in the region. As part of the project, a new airport and a major rail hub will be built in the centre of Poland, connecting CPK with the rest of the country and other European countries via newly constructed high-speed railway lines. In its commitment to combating climate change and fostering a shared green future, CPK has embedded sustainability into its investment programme from the very beginning. The aim is to transform the mobility industry in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. Highly ambitious climate mitigation and pollution reduction targets have been set during the planning and design phases, positioning CPK to become the first “Net-Zero Ready” airport in the region upon its inauguration. This undertaking aims to set new standards for green airports globally. This unique sustainable strategy will be showcased by CPK in collaboration with LOT Polish Airlines at the event titled “Sustainable Journey: Navigating the Future of Aviation”. The presentation, which will bring together representatives from the European Commission, CPK (the new Polish airport investor and its future operator), LOT (the Polish national air carrier), IATA (The International Air Transport Association), and industry experts, will culminate in a panel discussion. This debate will focus on ensuring European aviation’s sustainability without undermining its global competitiveness and will also contemplate potential solutions, opportunities, and recent proofs of concept. Organised by: CPK Media Partner: Euractiv

This Airport Is About to Go Passport Free

Soon you’ll only need your face to travel through Singapore’s Changi Airport.

Green plant–filled interior of Rain Vortex in Singapore’s Changi Airport

Singapore’s Changi Airport is switching to biometric technology, which should speed up the security process, giving travelers more time to explore the airport. 

Courtesy of Jewel Changi Airport.

With the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, a terraced tropical garden with more than 900 trees and 60,000 shrubs, and a walking path dotted with life-size dinosaur sculptures, Singapore’s Changi Airport is consistently ranked the best in the world. And soon, it’ll also be one of the most high-tech.

Starting sometime in the first half of 2024, you won’t need to show your passport if you’re traveling through Singapore. All you’ll need to pass through security and immigration is your face—the airport is switching to biometric technology and facial recognition technology instead of having agents physically check travel documents to move travelers through the airport more quickly.

“Biometrics will be used to create a single token of authentication that will be employed at various automated touchpoints, from bag-drop to immigration and boarding,” the country’s communications minister, Josephine Teo, said in a speech to Singapore’s parliament on September 18. “This will reduce the need for passengers to repeatedly present their travel documents at these touchpoints, allowing for more seamless and convenient processing.”

In just August 2023, more than 5.15 million passengers transited through Changi, which is still shy of the nearly 6 million passengers the airport saw in the same month in 2019. As the tourism industry continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic, that number is expected to rise, especially after the completion of Changi’s Terminal 5 (slated for around the mid-2030s).

“Our immigration systems must be able to manage this high and growing volume of travelers efficiently and provide a positive clearance experience while ensuring our security,” Teo said.

Already, Changi uses the technology for automated lanes at immigration. And while you won’t need to flash your passport in the Singapore airport once the new tech goes into effect, you will need to bring it on your travels, as it will still be necessary when you land in another country and upon returning home from abroad. (And it’s a good idea to keep on hand in case customs officers need to double-check your documents.)

Singapore isn’t the only airport that is increasing its reliance on biometric technology and facial recognition. Those flying Emirates through Dubai (specifically those using the Terminal 3) can board their aircraft with just facial recognition by the end of the year.

Europe is working on a new tech-driven Entry/Exit System (EES) that will keep track of visitors as they cross borders. And in the United States, biometric face scanners are already in use at Global Entry kiosks, and some airlines (like United, American, Delta, and JetBlue) are testing facial recognition technology for check-in, bag drops, and boarding at select gates.

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New technology at Detroit Metro Airport aims to speed up the travel process

If you’ve traveled lately at Metro Airport, you might have seen a display that takes you into a parallel universe

You’ll notice it right after you go through security at the McNamara Terminal at Metro Airport. It’s a big-screen offering something called parallel reality to help passengers figure out where to go. If you’ve traveled lately at Metro Airport, you might have seen a display that almost looks like it might take you into a parallel universe. Okay, not quite.

DETROIT – If you’ve traveled lately at Metro Airport, you might have seen a display that almost looks like it might take you into a parallel universe.

Okay, not quite.

It’s a brand new technology to help you get your travel itinerary personalized—no need to scan that big board trying to find your flight amongst the hundreds of others. Delta has customized the big board just for you.

“Ohhh, that’s so cool,” said one passenger. “Oh my God! That is awesome.”

The big arch and information desk just past TSA is getting all kinds of reactions for passengers traveling through Metro Airport.

Passengers like the Aadhi family had never seen it before and wondered what it was.

“I was kind of surprised,” said passenger Harshita Aadhi. “I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for because they didn’t tell us what we were looking for and when I saw my name, I thought can everybody see my information? And then I realized my sister could only see hers.”

“My first name is up there, and it says what medallion status I have, which gate, how many minutes I have to walk there,” said passenger Sangeetha Aeisekaran.

With each Delta passenger walking through, the board displays only their travel itinerary.

“I see that there’s nothing on the screen,” said passenger Virgil Flowers.

“But what do you see for you,” said a Delta information agent.

“I see that there’s ‘hello Virgil,’” Flowers said. “Thank you for flying Delta. Gate 30a. Three-minute walk.”

“The display fundamentally can direct different contents towards each person that looks at it,” said Albert Ng, CEO of Misapplied Sciences, the company that created the technology. “Above us is a motion sensor that detects moving objects as they’re moving around, and when one of these moving objects scans their boarding pass, that’s how the display knows to direct that flight information towards that moving object as they’re walking around.”

The display can show personalized flight information for up to 100 travelers at one time.

How it all works is pretty simple.

All you have to do is walk up to the desk, scan your boarding pass, and your boarding information is displayed on the big screen only for you to see. The technology behind it is what makes it all possible.

“It’s in the pixels of the display itself,” said Ng. “Each pixel is capable of controlling the color of light that it projects in many different directions. But right now, I’m only seeing a blank airplane because I didn’t opt-in or scan my boarding pass.”

“You don’t see anything on the screen?”

“Nope,” Ng said. “So if the camera can pan back behind my head, you can see that I’m truly not seeing anything.”

“The digital ID technology was first tested at Delta here in Detroit among the employees,” said Delta’s Hussein Berry.

The parallel reality experience has been a few years in the making through a partnership between Delta and Misapplied Sciences. It was just unveiled for public use for Delta travelers on June 28, and Metro Airport is the first airport in the world to use.

“Well, it’s helpful,” Flowers said. “Just because I’m thinking, where do I go from here? So absolutely, it’s definitely helpful.”

The goal is to eventually spread this technology to other airports across the country and the world. Another cool thing to note is that the board will also display in whatever language you prefer as well.

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