British Airways will trial
AI-powered autonomous robots at London Heathrow Terminal 5 next
The robots, from tech company BotsAndUs, are
programmed to interact with passengers in multiple languages using
the latest translation technology to answer thousands of
questions, including real-time flight information.
Using geo-location technology and
dozens of advanced sensors to constantly monitor a 360˚ radius, the
robot will move around the airport terminal freely,
escorting customers to specific locations such as the airline’s
dedicated Special Assistance and Family Check-In zones.
Ricardo Vidal, British Airways’ Head of
Innovation, said, “We are always looking for new
and innovative ways to use automation to help our customers enjoy
a faster and smoother journey through the airport and beyond.
These smart robots are the latest innovation allowing us to free
up our people to deal with immediate issues and offer that
one-on-one service we know our customers appreciate. In the
future, I envisage a fleet of robots working side-by-side with our
people offering a truly seamless travel experience.”
This year, British Airways has also installed 80
automated check-in machines and 80 advanced automated bag-drop
machines at Heathrow Terminal 5. The airline has also completed its roll-out
of self-boarding technology across every international gate at
Heathrow Terminal 5, leading to fewer flight delays.
The gates are
the first step towards customers being able to biometrically board
international flights from the UK. The airline originally
pioneered the use of biometric self-boarding gates on flights
within the UK from Heathrow and more than 3.5 million customers
have now boarded their flights this way.
The airline also
introduced biometric facial recognition technology on flights to
London from Orlando, Los Angeles and New York, JFK transforming
the airport experience and halving the amount of time it takes to
board an aircraft.