Toronto’s Pearson airport is relying on artificial intelligence to beef up its safety and security.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority unveiled a fully electric autonomous work vehicle – which can also be controlled remotely – that will help keep runways and security fences safe.
The airport operator demonstrated Tuesday how the driverless prototype works along perimeter fencing.
“Safety for our passengers, for airplanes, for operations is the highest priority,” said Brian Tossan, the airport’s chief technology officer.
“When we can take opportunities to be able to blend bleeding edge, state-of-the-art level technology, take it to the next level of quality and efficiency, it creates a tremendous opportunity for us to evolve and be able to transform in this particular space.”
The vehicle is designed to navigate airfields, scan for and detect potential security concerns and give real-time alerts.
“For instance, it can detect and look for hazards such as holes in our fence lines that may need to be repaired, or possibly unwanted debris that may be in our runways that need to be cleared,” Tossan said.
However, there is no date set for the vehicle to begin operating at the airport.
“At this point, it’s a proof of concept,” said Todd Browne, associate director for airfield operations. “You can see that it works, but actually implementing it on an airfield is going to take a little bit more testing.”
The GTAA teamed with Honda, Cisco, Illuminex AI, Genwave Technologies and Eagle Aerospace to design and create the multi-purpose work vehicle.
— with files from Ernest Doroszuk.
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