Christchurch Airport has a long term future vision of Autonomous vehicles, which partly explains the driverless shuttles that New Zealand’s gateway has been experimenting for the past two years.
The airport is staging the first test of an autonomous vehicle by New Zealand on its private roads, and recently introduced to the trial the first Kiwi made Smart Shuttle.
In June’s new trial, passengers had the opportunity to enjoy a quick ride around the terminal’s forecourt in the Smart Shuttle (capacity of 15 people), which includes local company HMI Technologies’ guidance system.
Malcolm Johns, CEO of the airport, says: “This vehicle is robotic, mechanical, and 3D printed – it is actually the largest 3D-printed vehicle in the world at the moment. We will continue to test and study on our campus to appreciate their capabilities and potential applications.”
The interest in new technology has also led the airport to provide logistics support and air space to enable Zephyr Airworks to test the world’s first self-piloted air taxi, Cora, as well as to develop its firefighters ‘ Virtual Reality (VR) training in Canterbury.