British Airways (BA) has become the first airline to trial fully autonomous, electric mobility devices in North America as it continues its journey to become the airline of choice for customers with both hidden and visible disabilities.
Almost half a million customers who require additional assistance fly with British Airways each year and with this number due to rise by 10% by 2021, the airline is exploring new ways to offer a seamless travel experience, including trialling self-driving, self-navigating, electric vehicles from Japanese technology firm, WHILL.
The devices, which were exclusively trialled by BA customers at New York’s JFK Airport, are equipped with anti-collision technology and allow customers to set their preferred destination anywhere within the airport.
“Accessible air travel.”
Ricardo Vidal, head of innovation at BA said: “Over the next few months, we will be collaborating on a further trial at our busy home hub at Heathrow Terminal 5 to gather more feedback and explore the introduction of this technology alongside our team of customer service professionals to provide a truly seamless and accessible airport experience. I’m excited about the future of inclusive innovation to support the accelerating demand for accessible air travel.”