Autonomous operations at the airport: the future has already arrived today

Autonomous operations at the airport not only save money. While autonomous systems increase efficiency, safety, occupational health and flexibility, they also lead to a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions. Our solution is not off-the-shelf, it can be tailored to the specific conditions at the individual airport. And because it allows to integrate not only our own vehicles and machines but also those of other brands, the investment risk is low. But the best thing is that the systems have been intensively tested and are already available today.

A few weeks ago, the Aebi Schmidt Group demonstrated to an exclusive group of customers that the future has already arrived today. Live and online with seven cameras broadcasted from the Mercedes Benz Test and Technology Center in Immendingen (Germany), we were able to demonstrate the individual elements as well as the integrated functionality and processes under real conditions.

No longer a dream of the future: Two Schmidt TJS jet sweepers working together and autonomously on the airfield (excerpt from the live demonstration).

Aebi Schmidt started the development project back in 2017. Over the past four years, the individual elements and the system as a whole have been intensively tested over several stages. Together with our partners CPAC Systems, a company of the Volvo Group, and with Lab1886, the innovation incubator of Mercedes-Benz AG, we have learned a lot under different real-life conditions and constantly improved the system. Today it is ready for use.

The editor allows the supervisor to edit routes and sequences in real time, adapt them to specific situations and transmit them to the fleet (excerpt from the live demonstration).

With the editor, it is easy for the operations centre to record routes and edit them. The system works with high-precision standards such as RTK or NTRIP. Both standards allow the position to be determined to an accuracy of 2 to 3 cm. Of course, the operators still determines which positions and operating modes of plough, sweeper and blower should be used in which areas and how. The modern control tool allows the operations team to edit paths, add geo events and create routes and segments.

Fully autonomous or semi-autonomous: The driver assistance system is a welcomed support for the driver and the operations centre, especially at night and in difficult weather conditions (excerpt from the live demonstration).

The driver assistance system mounted in the vehicle reports in real time any deviation from a defined route or from the vehicle ahead. Thus, the operational plan can be adjusted directly and it can be ensured that there is no gap in the area which has to be cleared. If the driver assistance system is used for semi-autonomous operation concepts, it supports the driver on request with advice and information on both driving behaviour and machine positions. This kind of support can relieve even experienced machine operators, especially in difficult weather conditions or at night.

Our solution for autonomous operations at airports does not come off-the-shelf, but can be specifically adapted to any situation. It also allows the user to independently determine the degree of autonomy and to combine autonomous, semi-autonomous and non-autonomous elements.


Are you already thinking about tomorrow today? We do. At Aebi Schmidt, we are fascinated by driving forward pioneering future technologies. Now the future of autonomous operations has already arrived today. Are you interested? We look forward to hearing from you at any time.

Find out more about the three-step approach of the Aebi Schmidt Group here: