In a ground breaking move towards fully autonomous airport operations, the autonomous tow tractor, EZTow, has reached Level 4 autonomy at Toulouse Airport, with no human interaction required on board.
Since its deployment in late 2022, EZTow has become the most widely used autonomous tow tractor globally, boasting enhanced benefits of cost and time efficiency, as well as increased scalability and flexibility.
The latest development in Toulouse marks a significant expansion of the autonomous tow tractor’s capabilities, with its route extended from 800m to 2000m. This expansion encompasses the towing of luggage from landing positions to the baggage hall, showcasing the technology’s potential in streamlining airport logistics.
Testing at Toulouse will not only evaluate the EZTow’s ability to handle an extended route but will also assess its performance in addressing infrastructural challenges such as intersections, roundabouts, and turning circles.
Additionally, the vehicle will be subjected to diverse weather conditions, including rain, fog, and snow, ensuring its reliability in various operational scenarios.
Alvest Group, TLD, and Smart Airport Systems (SAS) are the key collaborators behind the successful deployment of EZTow, with Alyzia, one of Toulouse airport’s ground handlers, also playing a crucial role.
SAS provides the cutting-edge driverless technology for the EasyMile vehicle, contributing to the autonomous capabilities of the EZTow.
The primary goal of this collaborative effort is to showcase how autonomous vehicles, such as the EZTow, can optimize luggage and freight logistics.
Alyzia aims to leverage this technology to enhance its capacity to serve more flights and optimize baggage handling while ensuring the highest standards of safety.
Richard Reno, CEO of TractEasy, the independent distributor of EZTow and a joint venture between TLD and EasyMile, expressed optimism about the future of autonomous tow tractors in airport operations.
He stated, “Airport autonomous tow tractor adoption is ready for takeoff,” emphasizing the technology’s potential to improve safety, efficiency, and reduce operating costs at airports worldwide.
image credit: easymile