b'PASSENGER TRANSPORTYWG49always been there, he relates. People are familiar with it, and all of the devices were being utilized. That is the hope for the program in North America as well.Renaud previously worked on the rental side of the business at Scootaround in Winnipeg for about 17 years, eventually ascending to the position of chief executive officer. In 2018, WHILL acquired Scootaround, and Renaud became chief executive officer for WHILL and Scootaround North America. Forging a PartnershipMichel Rosset, communications manager for Winnipeg Airports Authority, explains that YWG is intent on creating a seamless, enjoyable and more inclusive, accessible experience for all of its travelers. To that end, it has been working with WHILL and Scootaround to help developMICHEL ROSSETand refine their innovative technology. Initial testing at the airport began in 2019 and included the post-security area leading to a few gates. Through trials and additional growth in the autonomous technology, the programs service area has grown tremendously. It really gave us hands-on access to developing the program as a prototype for the rest of North America, Renaud remarks.Rosset foresees global applications for WHILLs forward-thinking service. The things that theyve developed and learned and grown with this technology have the potential to be implemented in airports all over North America and all over the world, he relates. So were proud to partner, and were proud to have that little homegrown success story.Once the scope of the service at YWG was determined in 2019, WHILL worked with the Airports Authority to create a computerized LIDAR map of the desired service areas in the terminal buildingPHOTO: WHILL INC including key public landside spaces, the domestic and international The project began as a North American feasibility test butsecurity checkpoint and secure airside spaces. Crews used a 3-D has since evolved to explore more ideal service use cases. Thescanner to capture data about where all hard, fixed items are in the addition of their innovative autonomous mobility device as aterminal. This allows the wheelchairs to avoid seating banks, walls fully available service is another example of our commitment toand other structures. The companys first-generation autonomous providing a more accessible and inclusive environment, sayschairs used a combination of stereo cameras and LIDAR sensors, Hays. Were excited to see our partnership with WHILL continueand the cameras would sometimes read shadows as objects (or to grow to help meet the evolving needs of travelers. moved objects). When developing the second-generation chairsthat are now in use, WHILL will only use LIDAR sensors toProgram Rootseliminate this issue. WHILL first introduced its autonomousAfter the mapping process was complete, WHILLs technical staff wheelchair program at Haneda Airportdrove the autonomous devices to create designated pathways, (Tokyo International) in 2020, and all majorand then set the goal locations at various gates. Finally, the team airports in Japan now offer the service. Kerryexecuted user trials to validate the scope of the service. The airport Renaud, chief executive officer for WHILLissued security passes and allowed after-hours access as needed, North America, reports that the companysand also provided a place to store the wheelchairs and charge their autonomous equipment provided moreKERRY RENAUD batteries. The Airports Authority and WHILL conducted three full than 10,000 rides in December 2022 at Haneda Airport. Thetrials to help refine the program and its features.program is also in use at two other major Japanese airports: Narita International and, most recently, Kansai International.Expanding ServiceThe autonomous fleet at Haneda has more than 25When the program testing started in 2019, the chairs were only able wheelchairs. When Renaud visited the airport in December 2022,to transport passengers from the security checkpoint to their gates. all of them were in use. It was almost as if the system hadNow, service is available from the check-in counter through security AirportImprovement.comMarch | April 2023'