Autonomous CargoPod tested at Heathrow

A fully autonomous ‘CargoPod’ vehicle has been tested at airside of Heathrow Airport by IAG Cargo.

The Oxbotica CargoPod was run for three and a half weeks around a cargo route at the airside perimeter at the airport.

Lynne Embleton, chief executive at IAG Cargo, said: “The trial has yielded valuable insights and is another step in our ongoing commitment to embrace new technologies, improve processes and enhance our offering to our customers.”

Dr Graeme Smith, chief executive of Oxbotica, added: “We’ve previously trialled autonomous vehicles on public roads but this is the first test of how they could operate airside at an airport.

“While there were a huge number of variables to consider including transitioning from indoors to outdoors during each journey, our vision-based localisation system performed exceptionally. For us, the trial marks the first step in an ongoing relationship with Heathrow Airport and IAG Cargo.”

Nick Platts, Heathrow Airport Ltd, said: “We’re delighted to have hosted this UK-first trial which will make our cargo facilities faster and more efficient for our customers. We look forward to this technology being adopted across the airport.”