WVXU News / Ann Thompson / February 1, 2021
It may not be too much longer before airports around the world use self-driving vehicles to take you to your terminal, transport your luggage and clear the runway. Tests are underway now for the luggage part at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport with an autonomous tractor.
ThorDrive's Chris Lee points to cameras and sensors on the front of a base tractor pulling a couple of luggage carriers. This autonomous vehicle is designed to be able to avoid planes, workers and anything else that might be in its way on the tarmac. It knows when to stop.
With a remote control in hand Lee says, "This is going to be the eyes for the human driver in the system and we have a computer behind in the cabin."
ThorDrive has been testing this diesel vehicle for about a year and will put an electric one through the motions soon.
Native Cincinnatian Eddie Shelton recently joined ThorDrive as vice president of business development. Just a month ago, the company released the proof of concept.
"We intend to have salable units by the end of the year. For the near future we intend to obviously extend that into a leadership position and autonomous vehicles in aviation and then also proliferate our technologies to other ground support equipment," he says.
The story of how ThorDrive ended up moving to Cincinnati (after a stop in Silicon Valley) from Seoul, Korea, is an interesting one.
FULL STORY (with Video and Audio Clips) HERE