Changi Airport Group (CAG) is testing a new electric-powered autonomous vehicle that aims to improve the efficiency and speed of aircraft turnaround times.
The Auto-DollyTug from Aurrigo will be put through different scenarios at Changi Airport to assess its ground handling capabilities.
Combining the utility of a baggage tractor and the unit load device (ULD) carrying capability of an airport dolly, the third-generation Auto-DollyTug can rotate in its own length and, using the groundbreaking sideways drive system, move directly sideways and slide into tight spaces, enabling the swift delivery of a single ULD even when other GSE equipment is in place at the aircraft.
The vehicle also features Aurrigo’s auto-loading and release management system that adds bi-directional robotic arms to the body to enable the vehicle to autonomously load and unload the ULD from itself.
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 maximizes carrying capacity without increasing the length of the train, it can also autonomously transfer that ULD directly on to a JCPL or high loader.
“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 third 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 second-generation vehicle at Changi Airport.”