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Changi Airport Trials Autonomous Baggage Vehicles

  • Airports
  • 3 min read

Changi Airport Group is revolutionizing baggage handling with their latest partnership with Aurrigo International plc. They have launched a trial for the Auto-DollyTug®, an advanced, electric, autonomous baggage vehicle designed to streamline airport operations.

Changi Airport Group trials Auto-DollyTug®.
Changi Airport Group trials Auto-DollyTug®.

What is the Auto-DollyTug®?

The Auto-DollyTug® is a state-of-the-art vehicle that combines the best features of a traditional baggage tractor with the robust capacity of an airport dolly. This innovative machine significantly improves efficiency by enhancing maneuverability and providing groundbreaking ground handling capabilities, crucial for speedy aircraft turnaround.

Cutting-Edge Features

A standout feature of the Auto-DollyTug® is its unique ability to rotate in place and even move sideways, thanks to its innovative sideways drive system. This allows it to navigate with agility, delivering baggage quickly even in the tight spaces around aircraft—a common bottleneck in current airport logistics.

Revolutionizing Baggage Handling with Robotic Technology

The Auto-DollyTug® includes a smart auto-loading and release management system with bi-directional robotic arms. This technology allows the vehicle to load and unload Unit Load Devices (ULDs) autonomously without human help.

As autonomous vehicles like the Auto-DollyTug® find their place at Changi Airport, they may open a new chapter in baggage handling efficiency. This would make the airport experience smoother and more reliable for travelers worldwide.

Auto-Dolly Tug: Clean Sheet Autonomous Vehicle Design

Professor David Keene, Chief Executive Officer at Aurrigo, explained, “Auto-DollyTug® is the result of clean sheet of paper thinking, as we didn’t just want a modified conventional tractor that could tow some dollies to an area near the aircraft without a driver. Our technology can not only carry a ULD on its body, which maximises carrying capacity without increasing the length of the train, it can also autonomously transfer that ULD directly on to a JCPL or High Loader.”

He continued, “This level of capability has been made possible by designing a vehicle to be electric and autonomous from day one. We have never built a diesel-powered airport vehicle so we don’t have to work around the compromises of a legacy GSE vehicle product. This 3rd generation of the Auto-DollyTug® has been designed to incorporate the experience we have gained from the extensive airside testing already carried out with our 2nd generation vehicle at Changi Airport.” 

Auto-Dolly Undergoes Rigorous Testing at Singapore Changi Airport

Since February 2022, Singapore Changi Airport has tested the earlier models of the innovative Auto-DollyTug® (refer to annexed details). This trial period represents a significant step for Aurrigo, the brand behind Auto-DollyTug®. It showed the technology is robust in the demanding and dynamic airside atmosphere. Aurrigo’s autonomous vehicles perform precisely in Singapore’s challenging, hot, humid weather and during heavy rainfall. This proves the technology is ready for diverse operational conditions.

Changi Studying Other Airport Vehicles

baggage towing technology at Singapore Changi Airport
Baggage towing technology at Singapore Changi Airport

Ms Poh Li San, Senior Vice President, Terminal 5 Specialised Systems at Changi Airport Group, added her support, “Changi Airport is exploring the use of different vehicles across the airport, especially to automate airside operations.”

“The latest Auto-DollyTug® has made its airside debut at our airport, and we look forward to studying how it handles the challenges of a dynamic airport environment.”

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