Austin-Bergstrom International (AUS) has recently begun testing a driverless shuttle to help travelers and their luggage get around the airport. It will be taking passengers between the Barbara Jordan Terminal and the Rental Car Facility/Ground Transportation area.
The electric shuttle goes about 12 mph and can seat six passengers. It also includes additional room for standing passengers and a built-in automated electric access ramp for wheelchair accessibility.
“Going around the airport involves a lot of walking, so we want to increase help for any passengers who need help with bags or mobility in general,” said airport spokesman Bryce Dubee.
Airport Driverless Shuttle Will Have Its Own Lane
The autonomous shuttle will be following a programmed route and operate in a separate lane with a barrier to avoid the normal airport traffic. Onboard sensors and cameras help to detect any pedestrians or objects that may get in the way. During testing, an attendant will be on board to answer questions and stop the vehicle in case of an emergency.
The shuttle being used in the testing is the EZ 10 made by French mobility company EasyMile. They have been testing their shuttles all over the globe in places like college campuses, neighborhoods and shopping malls.
As testing progresses, more routes will be added. The trial program is set to last about six months but if all goes well, the driverless shuttle could become a permanent fixture at the Austin airport.