Self-Driving Baggage Tractor PoC at Narita International Airport Restricted Area
~Verifying Autonomous Driving Techniques for Airport Baggage Tractors~

Oct. 26. 2020
Marubeni Corporation
AiRO Inc.
ZMP Inc.

During the period from November 10th-12th, AiRO Inc. (hereinafter, “AiRO”), a Joint Venture Company of Marubeni Corporation and ZMP Inc., will conduct a Proof of Concept (hereinafter, “PoC”) that will test transportation of passenger check-in baggage and cargo by a self-driving baggage tractor at Narita International Airport, which is operated by Narita International Airport Corporation.

In this PoC, the self-driving baggage tractor towing 4 containers will run from the Terminal 2 main building to a satellite sorting area, connecting to aircraft stands. With multiple sensors attached, the tractor will recognize not only its own position, but also surrounding objects on the route obtained from 3D maps. AiRO, with support from Japan Airlines, will test the autonomous driving techniques and remote operation systems necessary for a driverless environment.

As part of Japan Civil Aviation Bureau’s “PoC for Autonomous Vehicles at restricted areas of the airport”, AiRO have already conducted three PoCs since 2019 in restricted area of airports. While previous PoCs have used a self-driving minivan and passenger bus, this PoC marks the first time for AiRO to introduce its brand-new vehicle, ZMP CarriRo® Tractor 25T.

Shortages in manpower due to a decreasing working-age population is creating a bottleneck for airports. The running of baggage tractors is a frequent part of airport operations and often takes lots of working hours, and has therefore been a burden for airport staffs. For those reasons, the actualization of automated baggage tractors is especially anticipated, even compared with other groundhandling tasks. With a view to when aviation demand recovers, beginning with this PoC, AiRO aims to test and troubleshoot autonomous driving techniques in order to achieve optimization of airport operations for the future.

ZMP CarriRo® Tractor 25T ZMP CarriRo® Tractor 25T

PoC Route PoC Route

Duration November 10th-12th 2020
Location Narita International Airport (restricted area)
Vehicle ZMP CarriRo® Tractor 25T
Specification The baggage tractor willrun from the Terminal 2 main building to a satellite sorting area connecting to aircraft stands.

・December 5, 2019
 Self-Driving Vehicle PoC at Chubu Centrair International Airport Restricted Area
 Verification testing for AI picture recognition and remote control, striving for commercial use by FY2020
・March 12, 2019 
 Self-Driving Vehicle PoC at Chubu Centrair International Airport Restricted Area
 The First Ever Self-Driving RoboCar Mini EV Bus in Japan
・January 24, 2019
 Verification Testing of Autonomous Vehicles Within Restricted Areas at Narita International Airport
・December 7, 2018 
 Establishment of joint venture for the commercialization of autonomous driving at airport