Semcon develops autonomous snow removal vehicle
Yeti Snow Technology, owned jointly by Semcon and Øveraasen, has signed a cooperation agreement with Norwegian airport operator Avinor to develop a self-driving snow removal vehicle. The solution will provide both improved accessibility and efficiency. A full-scale pilot will be test run in March 2018.
The project will be the first in the world where large vehicles are adapted to autonomously handle the important task of keeping runways clear from snow.
Øveraasen is contributing its deep technical knowledge and Semcon Devotek in Norway provides its expertise in complex real-time systems and autonomous technology.
“Every minute a plane stands still is precious. We see great potential for gains in accessibility, but also for the environment and safety because the machine is self-driven,” says Hans Peter Havdal, general manager for Semcon Devotek.
Having previously worked with prototypes to a 1:14 scale, Yeti Snow Technology will now develop a full-scale self-driving snow removal vehicle that is up to 20 metres long and 8.5 metres wide.
A unique element is that the solution will operate in the most difficult conditions imaginable for autonomous vehicles: heavy snowfall and poor visibility.
“An airport is like a miniature society with clear and ambitious targets for the business. If we can get self-driving vehicles to operate there we can apply the technology to any field whatsoever,” says Hans Peter Havdal.
A first demonstration of the technology will take place in March 2018, at Avinor’s airport in Bodø, Norway. If the project proves successful, the possibility of implementing the solution at all of Avinor’s 46 airports is there.