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Aurrigo reveals new air travel technology, vehicles at Grand Rapids airport

Aurrigo was selected from more than 20 applicants to receive the first round of grants. 

Aurrigo, a U.K.-based company focused on automated vehicle development, has created a digital model of the Grand Rapids airport’s airside operations, including each roadway, intersection and type of vehicle. In partnership with airport planning staff, Aurrigo’s team of simulation engineers and project management specialists used real-time data on fleet capacity and flight schedules to create a full simulation of current airside operations. 

The Aurrigo model also has the ability to plot possible future scenarios, such as the expected ongoing effects of labor shortages, the effect of severe weather events and flight delays, as well as to model tests of potential automated solutions to airside efficiency issues.

Aurrigo’s driverless Auto-Shuttle goes on trial at Birmingham Airport

A new state-of-the-art driverless bus is being trialled at Birmingham Airport. Passengers travelling between the terminal and car park five will be able to take a free ride on the autonomous shuttle. The zero-emissions vehicle can carry up to ten passengers and uses sensors to understand its surroundings and comes to a halt if it senses any unexpected obstacles. Last year, Solihull Council became the first local authority in the country to buy its own Auto-Shuttle using a grant from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).

Aurrigo takes off with first autonomous shuttle trial at Birmingham airport.

(l-r) Cllr Ian Courts, Nick Barton (Birmingham Airport) and Henriette Breukelaar (Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP)

A driverless shuttle, owned by Solihull Council and designed and built in Coventry, made its

debut in the grounds of a UK airport for the first time this week.

Aurrigo, which employs over 70 people at its Advanced Engineering Centre, will deploy its

10-seater Auto-Shuttle alongside live traffic on the roads of Birmingham Airport.

The company has mapped out a route that will initially transport staff from the Departures

entrance and Diamond House to Car Park 5, with the potential for the trial to be extended to

passengers later this month.

The zero-emissions autonomous shuttle uses a suite of sensors, including LiDAR, to

understand its surroundings and move safely around its environment.

For the purpose of testing, and in line with current legislation, a safety operator will be onboard

at all times, whilst the shuttle can also be manually driven with conventional controls

to give the ultimate in operational flexibility.

This latest project is an exciting Solihull Council-led initiative to test how Connected

Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) might be integrated into the borough’s transport network in the

future and follows a successful trial at the National Exhibition Centre last year.

Miles Garner, Sales & Marketing Director at Aurrigo, explained: “We are delighted to be

working with Solihull Council again to deliver another milestone, with Birmingham Airport

becoming the first ever Airport to test our autonomous shuttles passenger side on their

roads.

“Aviation is a major opportunity for Aurrigo, with a genuine desire to find new technologies

that can improve the passenger experience. This could be through our driverless shuttles,

our Auto-Sim modelling software or it could be through our Auto-Dolly cargo/luggage dolly

that can replace the traditional tugs that are commonplace in airports all over the world.”

He continued: “We are currently working on projects at Changi Airport in Singapore and

Gerald R. Ford International in North America, putting the UK on the global map for

autonomous technology deployment.”

Nick Barton, Chief Executive of Birmingham Airport, added his support: “Autonomous

technology promises enormous benefits to airports and the service companies that support

them, with the potential to transform the way we work and improve efficiency and safety for

passengers, staff and other airport users.

“We are really excited to be working with Solihull Council on this trial, which will provide us

with invaluable insight into how we can start to safely incorporate CAVs into our vehicle fleet.

This trial of fully electric vehicles, and testing their capabilities on site, is making sure we are

working towards our net zero carbon target by 2033.”

Aurrigo has been creating headlines in the aviation sector after using its Auto-Sim 

technology to help Changi Airport in Singapore with development work on a new terminal.

The company, which was founded by brothers David and Graham Keene nearly 30 years

ago, has also used its in-house software, technology and engineering expertise to develop

the Auto-Dolly, a new autonomous luggage and cargo system that has the potential to

deliver 60% carbon savings for airports.

It is anticipated that the digital twin modelling work could prove the business case for these

dollies to replace conventional diesel-powered luggage and cargo tractors and trailers by two

thirds.

Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, concluded: “CAV technology has the

potential to revolutionise the way we get around our towns, cities and rural areas as well as

transport goods. I’m excited that we are the first Council in the country to purchase our very

own zero-emission, road-legal, shared use Connected Autonomous Vehicle and we are

keen to put it to use.

“This project is all about looking at how we can practically and safely start to incorporate

autonomous vehicles into our future transport infrastructure. Already one of the bestconnected

destinations in the UK and Europe, Birmingham Airport is the perfect place to trial

our shuttle providing us with a busy but controlled environment in which to gain further realworld

operating experience.”

This project forms part of the wider West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) funded UK

Central investment programme, which is delivering a wide range of projects, from walking

and cycling improvement schemes through to town centre redevelopments and build on the

establishment of the Midlands Future Mobility testbed.

For more information, please visit www.aurrigo.com or follow @aurrigotech on twitter

Transport minister praises Solihull for cutting-edge work on driverless vehicles

SOLIHULL’S cutting-edge work on driverless cars was showcased when Transport Minister Trudy Harrison visited the borough. Ms Harrison was joined by Leader of Solihull Council Councillor Ian Courts, cabinet member for environment and infrastructure Coun Ken Hawkins and bosses from ZF Hub an automotive company based in Blythe Valley Park to discuss the work being carried out with Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) and the future of the technology.

Aurrigo will deploy its Auto-Sim software platform, which creates a “digital twin” of the airport to make the management of autonomous vehicles on the flight line possible.

Michigan Airport to Experiment With More Autonomous Tech

Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford International Airport could soon be on the leading edge of tomorrow’s airport innovations. The facility and its private-sector partners are now exploring autonomous technologies for everything from the movement of flight-line vehicles to security.

Aurrigo is creating a digital twin of a US airport that will explore the viability of introducing autonomous solutions to airside operations.

Aurrigo investigates autonomy at Gerald R. Ford International Airport

Aurrigo is creating a digital twin of a US airport that will explore the viability of introducing autonomous solutions to airside operations. The Coventry-based developer of autonomous vehicles will use its Auto-Sim software to create an airside digital twin of operations at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Michigan.

Aurrigo embarks on US aviation first with Gerald R. Ford International Airport project

Latest News from Aurrigo

  • Cost savings from Auto-Sim® will enhance the customer experience, boost operational efficiency and achieve lasting positive environmental improvements

Coventry, January 20: A UK transport technology specialist is about to embark on an aviation first in the US that could provide the blueprint for the airports of the future.

Aurrigo, which is leading the world in first and last mile autonomous passenger transport and aviation baggage and cargo solutions, will use its Auto-Sim® software platform to create a ‘digital twin’ of airside operations at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Michigan.

The Ford Launchpad for Innovative Technologies and Entrepreneurship (FLITE) provides pilot-testing opportunities to companies focused on bringing emerging air travel solutions to market. 

Through this initiative, Aurrigo will identify cost savings, enhance customer experience, achieve a host of environmental improvements and, importantly, lay the foundations for how the airport could implement autonomous operations in the future.

Utilising a PlanetM Testing Grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Aurrigo will build a model of airside operations, covering roadways, intersections, stands and all operational vehicle types and movements.

A team of expert simulation engineers and project management specialists, based in its advanced engineering centre in the UK, will work with Ford International Airport planning staff to integrate vehicle fleet capacity and flight schedules so they can simulate airside servicing to benchmark current operations and predict future scenarios.

As well as modelling operations, the Auto-Sim® software platform can also simulate the effects of staff shortages due to Covid-19, flights delays, the de-icing schedule for departing aircraft and severe weather events including heavy snow and ice.

David Keene, CEO of Aurrigo, said: “The world’s airports are all facing the same challenge of providing greater levels of customer service with the most cost-effective use of resources and minimal environmental impact. It’s a careful balancing act and one brought into even sharper focus with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Auto-Sim® will enable Ford International Airport to be the first in the US to complete a real-world feasibility study of a current airport using digital twin technology.”

He continued: “This allows airport planners to model the operational processes, financial implications, customer journey experience and environmental impact of implementing new technology without the risk of expensive mistakes.

“We hope it will encourage other airports within the US and around the world to utilise the Auto-Sim® platform to streamline operations and reduce their environmental impact, whilst also providing the optimal customer experience and preparing them for future operations that involve airside automated vehicles.”

Aurrigo will work with Ford International Airport and consortium partners Southwest Airlines, Stantec, Seamless and the Michigan Office of Future Mobility & Electrification to complete this project by the end of May 2022.

Auto-Sim® has the capability to replicate the airport’s busiest periods, which at any given day, could include 112 aircraft movements, requiring upwards of 1000 individual activities to be serviced.

Before the pandemic, Michigan’s second busiest airport catered for nearly 3.6 million annual passengers and, in 2019, handled 41.4million kg of air freight – all considerations that will be factored into the modelling work.

The technology can also generate detailed energy consumption data for every vehicle modelled in the airside operations, including optimising current operations and exploring ways to minimise distance travelled to service the flight schedule. 

”FLITE enables us to partner with entrepreneurs and established companies focused on developing innovative new products and services to improve Airport operations and air travel experience for guests,” said Tory Richardson, president and CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. 

“We are proud to welcome Aurrigo to our Airport to offer them the opportunity to test their Auto-Sim® software platform alongside our airside operations.”

Aurrigo has been creating headlines in the aviation sector after using its Auto-Sim®   technology to help Changi Airport in Singapore with development work on a new terminal. 

The company, which was founded by brothers David and Graham Keene nearly 30 years ago, has also used its in-house software, technology and engineering expertise to develop the Auto-Dolly®, a new autonomous luggage and cargo system that has the potential to deliver 60% carbon savings for airports.

It is anticipated that the digital twin modelling work could prove the business case for these dollies to replace conventional diesel-powered luggage and cargo tractors and trailers by two thirds.

David concluded: “COP26 highlighted how important sustainability will be in the future global economy and airports have a massive role to play in minimising their environmental impact.”

For further information, please visit www.aurrigo.com or follow @aurrigotech on twitter for updates

Ends

About Aurrigo

Operating from its Advanced Engineering Centre in the UK, Aurrigo is a technology leader in autonomous passenger transport and baggage/cargo solutions for customers all over the world.

The company boasts extensive design, engineering, software and project management expertise, all undertaken and completed in-house, making it an ideal and trusted partner to Government projects in Australia, Canada, UK and the US.

This approach has seen it lead the way when it comes to first and last mile transport solutions, achieving a number of commercial deals and world firsts in autonomous trials involving live traffic and travel within major exhibition centres.

Founded almost 30 years ago by brothers David and Graham Keene, Aurrigo is enjoying significant success in developing new solutions for the aviation sector and has already worked with Heathrow and Changi airports to explore the use of autonomous technology in improving customer, operational and environmental performance. 

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