Autonomous Wheelchairs Will Help Passengers Navigate A Japanese Airport
The self-navigating wheelchairs allow users to input their destination and will automatically calculate the best route
Passengers with physical disabilities and other mobility limitations will soon have a more efficient means of navigating Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan. Robotic electric wheelchairs from Panasonic will soon be introduced as part of a broader effort to make the airport more widely accessible.
The chairs will allow passengers to input their desired destination by entering it into a smartphone. Their chosen wheelchair will then identify its position and determine the quickest way to get to the destination, navigating through terminals filled with other passengers and their luggage.
The robotic wheelchairs will be equipped with sensors to ensure they don’t collide with people or objects on the way, and groups of chairs will be able to move through the airport together, helping to prevent families from getting lost en route to their gate. The chairs will be tested between now and March 2018 before the new program is implemented.