The San Diego International Airport Innovation Lab  is launching a one year programme to test and refine autonomous technology within a live airport environment.

Examples of technology accepted to this programme include autonomous pushback solutions, AI-based smart assistants, and autonomous transit options for moving passengers and staff throughout the airport within the terminal space. These solutions offer operational efficiency and logistics, and provide a positive experience for passengers.

“Investments in autonomous solutions have grown by more than $7 billion since 2010 and national passenger surveys indicate a significnat need for process automation at airports,” said Gina Jacobs, Programme Manager, Airport Innovation and Customer Experience.

Successful applicants will participate in a four-quarter, one-year programme. They will partake in a variety of workshops, testing sprints, and one-on-one mentoring sessions that will culminate with demo-day presentations. Workshops will cover a variety of topics from IT/ Technology and customer experience to revenue management and business development. At the end of the programme, successful autonomous technology solutions will have the potential to enter into contract negotiations with the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.

“We know there is significant interest in automation at airports around the country. Our one-year programme will offer developers a chance to prepare their solutions to be competitive in the US marketplace,” Jacobs continued.

The Airport Innovation Lab also operates a 16-week accelerator programme that was launched in 2016 to reduce barriers for innovators to break into the aviation industry. This programme conducts testing and product development in a 3,500 sq. ft. former Commuter Terminal at SAN, offering a functional mini-terminal area, with ticket counters and a bag claim carousel, all without passengers or security concerns.

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