A Pilot Project for Autonomous Shuttles

One of our most exciting projects has been our collaboration with Tallinn Airport, located just 4 km outside Tallinn city centre. Together with Magnetic MRO, a leading aircraft maintenance and repair organisation, we have implemented a pilot project for autonomous shuttles at Tallinn Airport.

The challenge for our client, Magnetic MRO, was to improve the efficiency and flexibility of transportation between several hangars at the airport. Currently, they rely on dedicated vans and bus drivers, but this system has limitations. Autonomous shuttles would eliminate the need for drivers, reduce labor costs, and operate 24/7, providing a continuous flow of transportation between the different hangars.

A Paradigm Shift in Last-Mile Transportation

As a solution, Auve Tech proposed a pilot project with one to two autonomous vehicles transporting employees and smaller packages between the main and painting hangars. The service runs Monday through Friday from 9:00-15:00, with two bus stops along the route. Our autonomous shuttles provide a safe and efficient way to transport local employees within Tallinn Airport.

Seamless and Safe: Autonomous Shuttles for Local Employee Transport at Tallinn Airport

At Auve Tech, safety is our number one priority. Our vehicles have a safety operator who monitors driving quality and can intervene manually if necessary. Each vehicle also has 5 emergency brakes, mandatory seat belts, and emergency stop features in case of technical or technological failure. The vehicle can ask the operator for permission to continue in complex situations, ensuring passengers’ safety.

During the pilot project at Tallinn Airport, we faced several challenges, with localisation being the most prominent. Certain areas of the airport, with fewer well-recognised objects nearby, proved challenging for the buses to navigate. Additionally, opening new routes in cooperation with Tallinn Airport required additional administrative work and paperwork, adding complexity to the project.

Innovating with Helicopters

To facilitate the opening of new routes, we conducted tests with a helicopter in April 2023. The tests measured the distance and angle at which the autonomous shuttle can detect air taxiing helicopters. We are proud to say that we are the first company in the world to conduct such a test with a helicopter.

Impressive Distance Covered, Passengers Satisfied, and Environmentally Friendly

From January through April 2023, Auve Tech autonomous vehicles have driven a total of 2.150 km and transported 215 passengers at Tallinn Airport. The average percentage of autonomous driving mode has been 95%. Our autonomous shuttles have safely and efficiently transported passengers, even in sub-zero temperatures and snowy conditions. Passengers praised the convenience and reliability of the service, and many said they are waiting to use them on other routes as well.

For those experiments were used a mannequin to imitate a pedestrian crossing the road and stacked pyramid barriers to block the way for the teleoperated bus.

A Paradigm Shift in Last-Mile Transportation: The Success of Auve Tech's Autonomous Shuttles

The project has been a great success, demonstrating the benefits of autonomous vehicles for last-mile transportation. The Auve Tech autonomous shuttles offer a practical solution for effective transport, reduce private vehicle use, and make our environment smarter and more sustainable. At Auve Tech, we are committed to continuing to drive innovation and sustainability in the aviation industry.