Emirates wants artificial intelligence to handle airport baggage
Emirates Airline wants to use robots for all handling of passenger baggage, and eventually have the entire process, from arrival at the airport, check-in, immigration, to the boarding gates, seamless and uninterrupted.
Outlining what automation, artificial intelligence and big data can do for air travel, the carrier’s president Tim Clark laid out a vision in which robots, with no need for human intervention, would ID bags, put them in prescribed bins and later take them out of the aircraft.
“That’s in today’s technology,” he told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday at the International Air Transport Association’s annual general meeting. “We can actually do this.”
The technology can also be deployed for security searches, said Clark, adding a passenger passing through the system would keep walking while being inspected by “lots of entities.”
If there’s a problem, “something will come out - I can’t say whether it’ll be humanoid or whatever -- and stop him.”
Emirates’ desire to incorporate more automation into the back-end, logistics side of its operation, has had an impact on the construction of the new Al Maktoum International Airport.
According to Clarke, the new airport has been designed with “old think” and construction has been paused so its architecture can be reworked to accommodate new technologies and the internet of things.
“If it means we delay a couple years, we have to do that,” Clark said. “Those that don’t do it are going to be problem children in the future.”
Al Maktoum International Airport is intended to become one of the largest airports in the world, and be the primary global hub for Emirates Airline.