Would you trust a robot to handle your bags at the airport?

By Bloomberg News, June 5 2018

Emirates can’t understand why robots – like the ones used by Amazon's warehouses – aren’t handling airport baggage yet.

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.

His concept also includes cutting back on what is still the most laborious part of flying – the central security search.

“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 entire process, from arrival at the airport, check-in, immigration through all the way to the boarding gates, would become seamless and uninterrupted, he said.

The technology can be deployed even 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 is already close to producing a walk-though security system that doesn’t require passengers to remove boots and belts and offload mobile phones and keys.

The construction of the new Al Maktoum International Airport south of Dubai, which Clark says was designed with “old think,” 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.”

MKS111

MKS111

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Sep 2011

Total posts 85

Less likely to have items "liberated"?

xtfer

xtfer

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 127

Does he know this is happening already? I love the way Emirates keeps rolling out innovations several years after everyone else then claiming they are cutting edge...

Eli

Eli

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 90

Where? Which airport? Thanks

xtfer

xtfer

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 127

Probably all major airports are using robots to handle luggage at some point, from bag drop off through to just before loading. Its only at the end where it has to be put inside an aircraft where it actually needs a person. Google Heathrow T5 or Amsterdam for an example.

highflyer

highflyer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 302

As xtfer has said, this is already being done at a lot of airports. While "robots" may not be in the shape of humandroides, computers and "robots" are already checking us in, sorting bags at bag drops and belts systems, processing egates and doing facial recognition for customs and in the future boarding, amongst other things.

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