Travel Technology: Robots are delivering luggage at Dallas Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport in a test program designed to see if the small autonomous vehicles can speed the baggage handling process.
Travelers can opt in, or continue to have their baggage handled by humans.
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 the touch screen.
Each luggage robot will transport one 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, DFW’s executive vice president of Infrastructure and Development in a press release.
The luggage robots are from Valderlande, which bills itself as “the global market leader for value-added logistic process automation at airports, and in the parcel market.”
Translation from corporate-speak:
Vanderlande systems move 4.2 billion pieces of luggage around the world per year, in other words 11.5 million per day.
Its systems are active in 600 airports including 14 of the world’s top 20.
The company was acquired in 2017 by Toyota Industries Corporation, which is working on autonomous driving solutions for cars, trucks and busses. But that’s another story.