Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) Airport in Texas is introducing Vanderlande’s autonomous vehicle solution FLEET, in its Terminal D. The innovative baggage handling technology can handle nearly 450 bags per hour and is being tested with transfer passengers who arrive from international flights and connect through DFW.

“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. “As we go through the pilot programme, DFW will evaluate this new technology and assess potential applications of robots and autonomous vehicles at different points within the airport.”

The technology is being deployed in the recheck area in Terminal D, which Vanderlande’s executive vice president airports, Andrew Manship, said will be “both exciting and challenging,” because the autonomous vehicles will be working in a passenger area. “Vanderlande believes FLEET aligns with the airport’s vision, because they have a strong commitment to improving the passenger experience, as well as showcasing the latest innovations.”

Four self-bag drop units will be available for passengers participating in the programme, who will be able to identify the airline for their connecting flight using a touch screen. Each FLEET vehicle will then transport an individual piece of luggage, transferring the passenger’s bag to the appropriate baggage belt.

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