Avoiding lightning storms with autonomous dollies

Singapore freight forwarders – Star Concord

Changi Airport Group has demonstrated how Aurrigo’s autonomous, electric Auto-DollyTug® can continue to operate during the frequent electrical storms and heavy rain that the tropical climate can generate.

The airport operator highlighted the challenge around inclement weather capability, with the tropical climate of Singapore generating over 160 electrical storms per year, during which, ground handling staff must take cover for safety reasons.

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Aurrigo CEO David Keene, commented: “Auto-DollyTug® carries a ULD on its body which maximises carrying capacity whilst also being able to tow three further trailers. With its innovative robotic arms, the vehicle can autonomously pick up and transfer that ULD directly on to underwing GSE equipment.

“In good weather, this industry first capability has the potential to significantly enhance ground handling efficiency, but it is really transformative during electrical storms and heavy rain when a self-driving vehicle can keep operating safely, even when GSE staff have had to leave the tarmac.”

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Auto-DollyTug® combines the utility of a baggage tractor, with the ULD (Unit Load device) carrying capability of an airport dolly, making a more flexible and space efficient vehicle. This means that a combination of an Auto-DollyTug® and three trailers carries four ULDs or over 30% more than a traditional tug set-up of the same overall length.

Aurrigo Auto-DollyTugs will be operating at airports in the UK, Europe and USA by the second half of 2024, complementing the existing activity at Changi Airport in Singapore.

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Author: Edward Hardy