Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and Groupe ADP have been testing an autonomous electric vehicle to transport cargo at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

The vehicle from French start-up OROK has been operating airside since August to optimise and decarbonise ground operations.

It is fitted with GPS and numerous sensors so it can access loading and unloading areas close to the aircraft, and it is supervised by a server with artificial intelligence.

The vehicles can move up to 40 suitcases, a luggage container or pallets loaded with goods, and are intended to replace tractors and trailers usually used between cargo warehouses or baggage sorting centres and aircraft parking stands.

It is being tested at Air France Cargo’s G1XL cargo warehouse, initially transporting empty aircraft containers between two areas inside the warehouse, and this will evolve with a new generation of vehicles.

Pierrick Boyer, President and Co-founder of OROK says: “We strongly believe in the complete automation of the tarmac because, thanks to this type of solution, we bring operational peace of mind and better working conditions, while reducing operational costs and expenses related to accidents and the reprocessing of cargo and baggage.”