Magnetic MRO is pioneering the use of autonomous vehicles at Tallinn Airport – a solution it says is both more efficient and environmentally friendly
Self-driving vehicles have gone from being a fringe or even fantasy technology to being big news in recent years. And now autonomous vehicles are being pioneered in the MRO industry by Magnetic MRO, which has begun using them to transport employees and small packages between hangars at Tallinn Airport in Estonia.
Magnetic MRO, a member of Magnetic Group, said it was “constantly looking for ways to be more agile and work smarter”. The self-driving vehicles are also a “significantly more environmentally friendly” logistics solution, according to supply chain manager Raivo Roolaid.
The vehicles are made by Estonian company Auve Tech, which focuses on last-mile transportation in pre-mapped areas. Electric self-driving buses have eight seats and are equipped with several sensors, such as LiDARs and cameras, that ensure 360-degree visibility and quick response at all times, the company said.
“Our purpose is to bring the service of autonomous vehicles to the Tallinn airport area for the first time. That’s how we can improve the logistics on the airport grounds and help reach sustainable goals for daily operations. This project is a practical example for airports all over the world,” said Johannes Mossov, a member of the board of Auve Tech.
Implementing the self-driving cars also required the approval of Tallinna Lennujaam (Tallinn Airport). Riivo Tuvike, chairman of the Tallinna Lennujaam board, stated that Auve Tech’s decision to test its autonomous vehicles on the airport territory “is purposeful – the movement here requires complying with several rules and procedures”.
He added: “This allows us to create an unprecedented experience on how to use autonomous vehicles for airport needs in the future, for instance, to transport passengers.” Tallinn Airport has always considered such innovation a necessity, he noted.
If the project is a success, it could lead to other MRO companies using autonomous vehicles at airports around the world – and potentially another step forward in the industry’s sustainability journey.
This feature was first published in MRO Management – January/February 2023. To read the magazine in full, click here.