All Nippon Airways (ANA, Japan’s largest and 5-Star airline for seven consecutive years, will collaborate with Toyota Industries Corporation (Toyota Industries) to conduct tests of an advanced automatic towing tractor at Chubu (Nagoya) Centrair International Airport from February 10 to 14. The airport was selected because it hosted over 100,000 departures and arrivals in fiscal 2018, meaning that logistics operations must be performed at the highest standards. The tests are designed to provide the necessary safety and performance data to ensure that the tractor will be able to handle a variety of real world situations when it is put into service. The development of this autonomous tractor is the latest example of ANA embracing innovative technology to increase convenience and improve service for its passengers.
“ANA wants to be a leader in the latest technological breakthroughs, and the testing of the autonomous tractor with Toyota Industries fits right in with our heritage of innovation,” said Shinichi Abe, Executive Vice President of ANA. “We will continue looking for ways to make the travel experience more efficient and reliable. We are proud to work with Toyota Industries, a company that also places an emphasis on excellence and innovation.”
The partnership between ANA and Toyota Industries is part of a venture to promote aviation innovation by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in response to anticipated labor shortages that will be the result of a declining population coupled with increased production. By working to automate baggage and cargo handling operations, ANA is promoting efficient airport ground support operations, aiming to create an easy and comfortable working environment for all with less labor and personnel. Based on the results of the tests, ANA will work to commercialize them within fiscal 2020.
Both ANA and Toyota Industries are committed to developing automation and sophistication of logistics in all industries including aviation.
ANA will continue pushing itself to achieve at a higher standard and will adopt innovative approaches so that it is better equipped to continually improve the travel experience for its passengers.