Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport today launched Vanderlande’s autonomous vehicle solution FLEET to help passengers in the recheck area in Terminal D with more seamless transfers of their luggage. The airport said the first-of-its-kind robotic system can handle nearly 450 bags per hour, and will test the system with transfer passengers who arrive from international flights and connect through DFW.
Customers who participate in the pilot program will use one of four self-bag drop units, and identify the airline for their connecting flight using a touch screen. Each FLEET vehicle will then transport an individual piece of luggage, transferring the passenger’s bag to the appropriate baggage belt.
“DFW is testing the process to see how we might provide our customers with a more seamless journey using the award-winning technology within our current baggage infrastructure, and integrating automation for efficiency,” said Khaled Naja, executive vice president of infrastructure and development at DFW. “As we go through the pilot program, DFW will evaluate this new technology and assess potential applications of robots and autonomous vehicles at different points within the airport.
Automating bag transfers
The FLEET will be working in a passenger bag recheck area area, which is different from other robotic baggage systems, which work behind the scenes. “Vanderlande believes FLEET aligns with the airport’s vision, because they have a strong commitment to improving the passenger experience, as well as showcasing the latest innovations,” said Andrew Manship, Vanderlande‘s executive vice president for airports.
The DFW airport serves more than 69 million people along their journey every year, with 182 domestic and 62 international nonstop destinations worldwide. Vanderlande develops value-added logistic process automation at airports, as well as the parcel market. The company’s baggage handling systems move 4.2 billion pieces of luggage around the world per year, or 11.5 million bags per day. Its systems are active in 600 airports, including 14 of the world’s top 20 airports.