February 22nd, 2023 – This week, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Axxicom Airport Caddy are testing WHILL Autonomous Mobility Service at the airport. The vehicles, equipped with smart technology from personal transportation solutions company WHILL, are already successfully in use at major airports such as Tokyo International Airport in Japan. The service contributes to Schiphol’s goal of making travel as easy as possible for everyone, including people with reduced mobility.
Schiphol and Axxicom Airport Caddy expect the autonomous mobility service to contribute to improved customer satisfaction in the future. During the pilot, a number of passengers will be transported to their gate by the autonomous vehicles. The innovative vehicles will support the current passenger assistants, making their work more efficient.
Patricia Vitalis, Director Airport Operations and Aviation Partnerships at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol:
“We want to offer all passengers a pleasant travel experience at Schiphol. That is why we are testing this innovation. With the autonomous vehicles, we are exploring how travelers with reduced mobility can find their way around the airport independently and safely. This meets the need of this group to be able to travel independently. We look forward to hearing their experiences during this pilot.”
Vincent Kas, Managing Director of Axxicom Airport Caddy:
“Autonomous vehicles are a great solution for elderly travelers or people with medical conditions that prevent them from traveling long distances. But also for passengers who are worried about finding their way. We are already helping these travelers with our passenger assistants. We expect this innovative solution to contribute to the future-proofing of our organization’s services.”
Vehicle drives itself back after reaching destination
The autonomous vehicles have a luggage rack in the back where carry-on luggage can be stored. The traveler can enter his or her destination, such as the gate to board, on the service screen. The vehicle will then drive to the destination on its own. The vehicle is also equipped with sensors that take into account other passengers, obstacles and the environment. There is an emergency button on the vehicle and a seat belt for safety. Upon arrival at the destination, the passenger disembarks (if possible) and the vehicle drives itself back to the starting point, ready for new travelers.
Find your way around Schiphol independently
At Schiphol, assistance is offered to passengers who have difficulty moving around the airport on their own. IATA research shows that requests for assistance come not only from passengers with a physical condition, but also from elderly passengers who are concerned about their ability to navigate through a large airport, or passengers who do not have a good command of English or Dutch and therefore have difficulty asking for help. With the autonomous vehicles, Schiphol and Axxicom are responding to the needs of travelers.
The pilot will last one week. An evaluation will take place and a decision will be made whether the WHILL Autonomous Mobility Service will get a permanent place at Schiphol.
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About WHILL, Inc.
WHILL connects the world with personal transportation solutions. In addition to designing and selling mobility vehicles, WHILL provides Mobility-as-a-Service, offering autonomous and manual transportation services that make public spaces such as airports, hospitals, and vacation destinations more accessible. WHILL provides products and services in more than 20 countries and regions worldwide. Learn more at https://whill.inc.