If you’ve noticed at airports, people who have mobility issues typically require someone to push them around via a wheelchair or one of those carts. This is be troublesome as it would require a staff to be present, and it also limits where the person can go, but that could change in the future.
British Airways has revealed their plans to test an autonomous electric wheelchair at the JFK airport. With this wheelchair, it will be able to ferry the user around to anywhere they want in the airport simply by tapping on the display where they want to go. The wheelchair will also be smart enough to detect obstacles and find their way around it, and it will also be capable of finding its way back to the docking station once the user is done with it.
While electric wheelchairs aren’t exactly new, the implementation of this should in theory greatly improve on the accessibility and mobility of those who might not be capable of walking. It can also improve on the overall airport experience as staff members who might have been required to push or drive these carts around, can be diverted and do something else.
If the trials are successful, British Airways plans on expanding it to cover more airports, but don’t hold your breath just yet.
Filed in engadget.. Source: