Driverless autonomous wheelchairs are coming to Abu Dhabi Airport

Etihad Airways is trialling a new service for passengers

Driverless autonomous wheelchairs are coming to Abu Dhabi Airport

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways are known for ensuring that passengers have the best possible experience when travelling to destinations near and far.

In fact, the airline was recently voted the most punctual in the Middle East, meaning that more Etihad passengers got where they needed to go on time than those travelling on other airlines.

Who doesn’t like being on time? Especially when travelling long distances.

Helping to extend their customer service, trials have taken place at Abu Dhabi International Airport to introduce innovative new wheelchairs to assist passengers in transit.

The WHILL Autonomous Driving System wheelchairs will soon be able to assist passengers with restricted mobility to get to their gate without the assistance of a staff member.

The wheelchairs will move around the airport on their own and will help to take guests to their gate and navigate their way around the airport.

Trials will continue until the end of the year that conclusively map the airport and ensure that the service is fully operational for guests in the near future.

The technology is a worlds-first for any airline and sensors on the wheelchairs will allow them to detect obstructions and avoid collisions.

Once a passenger has boarded their flight, the wheelchairs will return to the collection point without staff involvement.

Bryan Thompson, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “We are delighted to be working with Etihad Airways to trial the use of autonomous wheelchairs at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

“Enhancing the freedom of movement of those with mobility restrictions forms a part of our wider commitment to delivering a smooth and seamless passenger experience to each and every traveler through the implementation of innovative and cutting-edge technologies throughout Abu Dhabi International Airport and our upcoming Midfield Terminal.”
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