Aurrigo and UPS announce autonomous electric cargo vehicle pilot programme at East Midlands Airport
UPS and Aurrigo have announced a collaborative project to deploy Auto-Cargo, an autonomous electric vehicle designed to move heavy cargo loads to and from aircraft at the UPS hub at East Midlands Airport, the UK’s second-largest cargo terminal.
The vehicle can transport a standard full-size cargo pallet or two half-size aviation industry standard containers or Unit Load Devices (ULD) up to a total load of 7.5 tonnes and is designed to tow a further fully loaded cargo trailer behind it.
Its autonomous technology will enable the limited numbers of security-cleared drivers to be freed-up to perform other roles around the airport, while also producing zero tailpipe emissions.
The programme is supported by matched funding from Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency, and CCAV, with almost £500K in funding. The two companies will develop and pilot Auto-Cargo at East Midlands Airport over a 14-month period.
David Keene, CEO of Aurrigo International plc, commented: “This vehicle allows an airfreight operator to help decarbonise and automate its ground operations for lower emissions and greater efficiency. By combining the tractor and trailer into one unit, we save space, which, in a busy cargo hub like East Midlands Airport, is vital to efficient loading and unloading of aircraft.’’
Matt Nicholson, UPS International Director of Automotive Engineering, said: “Our business is all about delivering parcels efficiently through our global, integrated network. This collaboration will help us do that with increased safety and zero tailpipe emissions, making our airside operation more efficient with a purpose-designed vehicle.’’
For further information, please visit www.aurrigo.com.