Abu Dhabi International Airport begins trials of autonomous wheelchairs

Abu Dhabi International Airport begins trials of autonomous wheelchairs
Published: 17 September 2019 - 8:23 a.m.
By: Logistics Middle East Staff

Abu Dhabi Airports has partnered with Etihad Airways to launch a trial of autonomous wheelchairs at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The autonomous wheelchairs will allow passengers with restricted mobility to navigate easier through Abu Dhabi International Airport.

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The trial at Abu Dhabi International Airport in collaboration with the air transport communications and information technology company, SITA, and the personal electric vehicle supplier, WHILL, will be ahead of the introduction of the autonomous wheelchairs at the new Midfield Terminal.

With the new technology, passengers will be able to access airport facilities easily and effectively, whether arriving to, departing from, or transiting through Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The new technology is the first of its kind to be used by an airport within the region.

The wheelchair trials, which will take place throughout the remainder of 2019, will map the airport to ensure that passengers can use the new technology effectively upon its official introduction.

The wheelchairs will offer passengers up-to-date boarding times and gate information, an automatic brake function, voice activated features for users who may be visually impaired, and sensors to detect any obstacles in the path of the wheelchair.

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“Abu Dhabi Airports is committed to providing an optimal passenger experience to those using our airports, and ensuring that our facilities are easy to access for all is an important part of that commitment,” said Bryan Thompson, CEO, Abu Dhabi Airport.

“With the beginning of these trials, we hope to be able allow restricted mobility passengers and their families freedom of movement around Abu Dhabi International Airport, and the opportunity to enjoy all the airport has to offer,” he added.

Porters will remain available to provide wheelchair access to passengers arriving at Abu Dhabi International Airport who require mobility assistance.

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