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Aviation breakthrough born in Coventry wins major Heathrow award

A world first in autonomous technology has helped a Coventry manufacturing specialist claim a prestigious prize at the Heathrow Clean Vehicles Partnership Awards.

Working in partnership with International Airlines Group (IAG) and British Airways, Aurrigo’s autonomous luggage dolly was awarded the ‘Innovator’ title for the way it is helping to potentially reduce emissions and improve efficiencies in getting passenger bags to and from the terminal.

Judges were impressed with the initial results of the first two phases of the trial currently taking place at Terminal 5 and the way it can reduce passenger waiting times, as well as offering a host of environmental improvements.

Carrying up to 40 bags in one journey, the driverless dollies use the latest navigating technology to memorise the airfield to determine the shortest route to transport luggage.

Unlike the current vehicles, they will depart for the aircraft as soon as each one is full, speeding up the aircraft loading process.

Miles Garner, Sales and Marketing Director at Aurrigo, commented:

“We are best known for the work we are doing in pioneering driverless pods that are typically used to deliver first and last mile transport solutions. It was quickly recognised that this technology could be applied to other sectors and we were delighted when we started working with IAG and British Airways on exploring the possibility of autonomous luggage dollies.”

He continued:

“The impressive initial results have been reinforced by the project being awarded the ‘Innovator’ title at the Heathrow CVP Awards, beating off competition from some very impressive innovations in the process.

“Airports have the requirement to move vast numbers of people, goods, luggage and a variety of other materials around a huge site and autonomous technology can provide the aviation industry with a solution that has zero emissions and massively increased efficiencies.”

Chris Garton, Chief Operating Officer at Heathrow Airport, said:

“We’re delighted to trial new technologies that will make our airport more efficient, safe and sustainable. Significant progress is being made with driverless vehicles and these trials will help us provide the infrastructure necessary to be at the forefront of this technology.”

If successful, the dollies could transport customers’ baggage to and from the aircraft by 2021.

About the Awards

Each year, the Heathrow CVP Awards celebrates the Champion Award, Improver Award, Innovator Award and Leadership Award – all recognising achievements in fleet emission reductions as part of a collective mission to make airside operations greener and more efficient.

The annual awards ceremony, hosted at Heathrow, celebrated the hard work and dedication brought about by a number of technology businesses based in the UK who manufacture mobility solutions for the aviation industry.

For further information, please visit or follow @aurrigotech on twitter.

Notes to Editors

British Airways is investing £6.5 billion for its customers over five years, taking delivery of 73 new aircraft including A350 and 787s, refurbishing its long-haul fleet with new cabins so they look and feel new, introducing new, redesigned lounges, new dining across all cabins, new bedding and amenity kits for First, Club World and World Traveller Plus, best quality onboard WiFi to every aircraft and providing access to power at every aircraft seat. The airline recently introduced its Club Suite, a new business class seat with direct aisle access on its A350 aircraft, which will be rolled out across the British Airways’ long-haul fleet over the next few years.

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