Delta Air Lines has partnered with Georgia Tech and the Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners in Georgia, USA, to research ways AVs can benefit the airlines’ customers and employees.
Delta will contribute seed funding for the research project, and researchers from all three partners will have access to Curiosity Lab’s 1.5 mile AV test track and smart city living laboratory in Peachtree Corners.
“Driving the leading edge of emerging technology – like we’ve done with biometrics by launching the first fully biometric terminal in the United States – means Delta can help shape how industry adopts it,” said Gil West, chief operating officer. “AV technology is one of those innovations we see as having the potential to improve employee safety, the customer experience and operational performance, and this partnership will help us explore all of those possibilities.”
Delta sees potential applications for autonomous cars, trucks or buses at airports and beyond. For example, according to the airline, AVs could help customers make tight connections across an airport, they could deliver delayed baggage to customers or transport aircraft parts to airports.
“The possibilities for AVs are broad and well worth our investment, even though they remain speculative,” West said. “Delta recognizes that our people will always be our greatest competitive advantage and that no amount of technology or innovation will change that.”
Curiosity Lab, a 5G-enabled AV and smart city living laboratory, features a network operations center allowing researchers to track and analyze data in a unique setting.
“Our 5G-enabled living laboratory will give Georgia Tech researchers the opportunity to push the frontier of emerging technology in a real-world setting that is almost impossible to replicate in a closed lab,” said Betsy Plattenburg, executive director of Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners. “Curiosity Lab also will provide those researchers an opportunity to collaborate with other industry leaders and focus their research on immediate challenges and results.”