Autonomous micromobility company, A&K Robotics, is trialling its self-driving robot pods at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in collaboration with Southwest Airlines.

This pilot aims to enhance the travel experience for passengers with reduced mobility (PRM).

A&K’s autonomous, electric pods are designed to safely transport people  in crowded places, such as airports and malls. The self-driving pods can enable passengers to independently navigate airports and easily access areas such as departure gates and restaurants.

ATL Autonomous Pods
A&K Robotics’ self-driving robot pod being tested at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

People with reduced mobility are one of the fastest growing passenger groups in aviation. Requests for mobility assistance are often from individuals who can normally walk short distances but need assistance to cover longer distances. This includes elderly passengers and those recovering from surgery.

A&K’s autonomous pods can help meet this growing demand for transport assistance throughout the airport.

Jessica Yip, COO, A&K Robotics said:

We designed our autonomous platform to positively impact the world, improve quality of life and play a major role in the future of transportation. To see our innovation being considered by Atlanta Airport to enhance the travel experience of passengers with limited mobility, is exhilarating. We are looking forward to collaborating with the Airport Authority and the Southwest team to bring the best experience possible for the PRMs.

The autonomous pods are being tested at the airport’s departure level in Concourse C in collaboration with Southwest Airlines.

Known as the world’s busiest airport, ATL processes more than 100 million passengers annually.

Jai Farrell, Deputy General Manager and Chief Commercial Officer at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport said:

We have been looking for advanced mobile robotics solutions to improve operations and found that A&K has the most advanced autonomous micro mobility solution for PRM assistance.

This is the first time we are testing robots at the departure level and the results are very impressive. We are looking forward to expanding the tests and possibly adding A&K’s pods to our existing PRM operations, making it easier for our passengers to navigate the airport.


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