Abu Dhabi Airports completes autonomous wheelchair trials

This is being done in partnership with Etihad Airways

The chairs from ‘WHIIL’ were fitted with sensors to detect obstacles
The chairs from ‘WHIIL’ were fitted with sensors to detect obstacles

Abu Dhabi Airports has completed the guest trial period for its autonomous wheelchair scheme.

The trials, in partnership with Etihad Airways and electric vehicle supplier ‘WHILL', took place between December 2 and 6 at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

More than 60 visitors to Abu Dhabi International Airport with lowered mobility trialled the chairs, driving them through crowded areas and lounges. Once a user made their way to the gate, the chair automatically returned itself to a docking station.

The chairs from ‘WHIIL’ were fitted with sensors to detect obstacles and have an automatic stop function.

Etihad Aviation Group’s chief operating officer, Mohammad Al Bulooki said: “The feedback we received from guests who participated in these trials was overwhelmingly positive, and I look forward to the possibility of offering our guests the choice of autonomous wheelchairs in the future. Etihad’s commitment to innovation remains strong, and we’re proud to invest in trials and projects like this, which give our guests a truly unique, seamless and independent experience when travelling with Etihad Airways.”

Abu Dhabi Airports’ acting chief operations officer, Ahmed Al Shamisi continued:  "Convenience is one of the most important factors in the traveller experience today. We want to make it even easier for passengers to enjoy our airports with ease. Through these trials, we have shown that restricted mobility passengers and their families can enjoy greater freedom of movement while still ensuring that the technology can be used safely and securely in our facilities."

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