Every winter, problems with snow lead to many delayed flights and stranded passengers all over the world. Autonomous snowploughs have now been tested for the first time at an airport in Norway as a way of clearing snow more effectively.
Yeti Snow Technology, co-owned by Semcon and Øveraasen, is developing autonomous snowploughs for Norwegian airport operator Avinor. The aim of this project within the area Applied Autonomy is to increase efficiency and reduce delays at airports. In March 2018, these autonomous vehicles were tested for the first time at a snowy airport 200 km north of Oslo.
Clearing snow at airports is absolutely crucial. Takeoff and landing runways must be completely clear of snow if flights are to depart and land on time. At present, airports always need to be prepared. They have to have staff on standby who can come in and clear snow whenever they are needed.
This is a good example of how autonomous vehicles can increased profitability and add value for people
These snowploughs are 20 metres long, 5.5 metres wide and have enough capacity to clear an area of 357,500 square metres an hour. One unique feature of these autonomous vehicles is that they can clear snow in formation, several vehicles working together, and with the same outstanding precision no matter what the weather.
Semcon in Norway is contributing its expertise to the project, working with complex real-time systems and autonomous technology. The Yeti project is a good example of what can be achieved in the area Applied Autonomy.