July 1 2020
TOKYO – Japan Airlines, in a world first, launched a practical autonomous personal mobility service for passengers at Tokyo International Airport at Haneda on Wednesday.
In the service, available at Terminal One, self-driving wheelchairs take JAL flight users to boarding gates after they go through the security check. The vehicles, developed by Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture-based Whill Inc., are parked at a designated area called Whill Station. They will return to the station on their own after dropping the users.
JAL, which introduced the robot wheelchairs last month, started the mobility service as part of its “smart airport” initiative also featuring automated baggage drop and security screening systems.
Requiring no support from airport staff, the self-driving wheelchairs are expected to further reduce the risk of passengers being infected with the novel coronavirus, the carrier said.