In line with the global trend of implementing autonomous vehicles in cargo operations, Sweden-based behavioral technology company Semcon announced today that, in partnership with Swedish tractor manufacturer Lundberg Hymas, it will be developing new autonomous vehicles for the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (LVF).
For the project, Semcon will develop the technology for the vehicle, and Lundberg Hymas will contribute its manufactured tractors. The tractors are designed for use at airports to clear snow from landing lights, which will help them stay open for operations. The all-weather vehicle will be up to 20 meters long and 8.5 meters wide, and will being operated remotely from a traffic management center developed by airport snow removal company, Yeti Snow Technology, which is jointly owned by Semcon and Øveraasen, a Swedish snow-removal equipment company.
“It may seem like a little thing, but runways shut down if 15 percent of their lights are disabled – and that results in significant delays and costs money,” said Anne Piegsa, technical project manager at Semcon. For freighter operations that sometimes continue 24/7 at some airports, the automated vehicle may have an even greater impact on schedules.
Currently the company is also developing autonomous snow ploughs for Norwegian airport operator Avinor, and plans to run trial operations of the vehicle at Oslo Airport (OSL) in the new year. Following the completion of that project, the company will hold a public demonstration of the autonomous tractors for LVF will be at Örnsköldsvik Airport (OER) next year.