HONG KONG /EINPresswire.com/ — Matching the innovative minds of Airport Authority Hong Kong, Teksbotics with its partners delivered the first autonomous electric tractor (AET) to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) for testing in April 2018. The mission was to enhance operational efficiencies and driving safety while reducing human errors. For 18 months, the first two AETs were tested on different weather, lighting, traffic, signage and markings inside the airport. On December 30, 2019, it completed the trial stage and went on live operation.
“Our engineers have been working closely with Airport Authority Hong Kong and other business partners in the work of implementation of the vehicle with our autonomous driving system. We are very proud of successfully launching the world’s first autonomous electric tractor to operate at HKIA.” Said Berry Leung, Teksbotics CEO
Speed limit for the AETs was 20km/h. The first route was on the airport bonded road between SkyPier and Baggage Hall. It ran 4 kilometers per round trip to deliver baggage for air-to-sea and sea-to-air passengers. Since then, there are 20 units of AETs running inside the airport. Job function has expanded from delivering baggage to air cargo transportation. Towing capacity has increased from 20 tons to 35 tons.
The ability to produce high precision mapping and analyze localization are at the core of AETs technologies. They are equipped with highly accurate sensors to safeguard safety and accuracy of the journey. Each AET carries 4 Lidars, 8 High Definition cameras and Differential Global Positioning System (dGPS). The lidars prevent collision with any moving or foreign objects, with a reaction time faster than human brains. The AET brakes slowly between 10 to 35 meters of reaching target. Then it come to complete stop within 10 meters. The dGPS has a location accuracy of 10 to 15 cm. The HD cameras allow continuous monitoring of the road with image positioning technology.
So far, Teksbotics’ autonomous fleet in Hong Kong International Airport has racked up more than 150,000 kilometers on odometer.
“We are confident that our industry leading autonomous driving technology will lead into a revolutionary paradigm shift in the airport operation. We will strive to create constructive synergy by sharing our know-how and experiences of developing autonomous driving technology to expedite autonomous driving technology.” Said Dennis Cheung, Teksbotics Associated Director.
Beyond Hong Kong SAR, Teksbotics is promoting their AETs to airports around the world. Their goal is to replace routine driving by human driver with autonomous driving that offers robust and safer logistic moving and minimize human errors. With the current labour shortage at airports around the world during post COVID-19 era, Teksbotics may come to help at the right time.