Schiphol Continues Trial With Autonomous Mobility Vehicles

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol continues trial with the WHILL Autonomous Device to create a smooth experience for travelers with mobility challenges.

July 12, 2024After a succesful trial period in 2023, Schiphol will continue to test autonomous mobility vehicles. As of September, ten innovative wheelchairs supplied by WHILL Autonomous Mobility will be deployed at the airport for one year. The aim of the trial is to discover how autonomous mobility vehicles can make traveling as easy as possible for people with reduced mobility.

These travelers are brought to their gate in the autonomous wheelchair, without an assistant needing to be present. The service thereby contributes to the need for travelers with reduced mobility to move around the airport independently. During the trial period, Schiphol wants to find out how these vehicles fit in the airport process and how they can contribute to the passenger experience.

Supplier WHILL will be working on the preparations over the coming months, including configuring the routes. As of July 12, ten wheelchairs will be available for primarily intercontinental and British travelers who wish to make use of the service. This year-long trial period in the non-Schengen area is part of the research into how this service can be offered at the airport more permanently. Schiphol will soon launch a market consultation to further explore the market and the opportunities that exist within it.

The autonomous mobility vehicle

The autonomous mobility vehicles have a baggage rack at the rear where hand baggage can be placed. Travelers with reduced mobility can enter their destination, like the gate for boarding, on the service screen. The vehicle then drives to this destination independently. The vehicle also has sensors that take into account other travelers, obstacles and the surrounding environment. There is an emergency button on the vehicle and a seat belt to ensure safety. After arriving at the destination, the traveler disembarks, and the vehicle drives itself back to the starting point where other travelers with reduced mobility can use it again.  If travelers need personal assistance, it is provided by Axxicom Airport Caddy.