Autonomous-driving chairs will deliver passengers to their gates at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport. First Permanent Installation of Autonomous Mobility Service in North America.
San Francisco, December 13, 2022 – WHILL, Inc., a leading developer and service provider of electric mobility chairs, announced today the first permanent installation in North America of its autonomous mobility service at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport.
An estimated one in three travelers will need some form of assistance by the year 2038, making it difficult for airports to meet the additional demands that come with accommodating their needs1. The WHILL autonomous mobility service relieves airlines of fulfilling wheelchair push demands and allows airline passengers to travel more freely by autonomously transporting them to their gates.
After the user selects their destination on a touch screen, the WHILL autonomous power chair proceeds to transport the passenger safely and reliably to the desired gate. The service covers the entire route from check-in counter to security checkpoint, and then to the departure gate to provide a seamless travel experience.
The WHILL autonomous mobility service has been tested during several development trials at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport since 2019 with excellent results.
“We’re excited to see our partnership with WHILL continue to grow to help meet the evolving needs of travelers,” said Nick Hays, President and CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “The addition of their innovative autonomous mobility device as a fully available service at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport is another example of our commitment to providing a more accessible and inclusive environment.”
The WHILL Autonomous Service is just one part of WHILL’s ecosystem designed to improve mobility and reduce barriers across a full spectrum of assistance levels needed by customers, from staying mobile in their home to traveling and navigating public spaces. In addition to autonomous drive technology, WHILL offers the award-winning Model C2 and Model F for full-time use, plus manual drive rentals for malls, museums, multi-day vacation rentals and a variety of other destinations.
“Accessibility is a global issue,” said Kerry Renaud, CEO of WHILL North America. “WHILL products and services are uniquely designed to reduce barriers and improve the quality of life for our customers, and the partnership with Winnipeg Richardson International Airport will influence and expand mobility globally by raising the standard of reliable accessibility in public spaces.”
Previous trials of the WHILL autonomous service in U.S. airports have included Atlanta, San Jose, and Grand Rapids. WHILL plans to announce partnerships with additional airports in North America in 2023.
About WHILL, Inc.
WHILL connects the world with short-distance mobility products and services and provides Mobility-as-a-Service solutions, offering autonomous and manual transportation services that make public spaces like airports, vacation destinations, and convention centers more accessible. From electric mobility scooters to fully autonomous power chairs, WHILL offers products and services in over 20 countries and regions globally. https://whill.inc
About Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.
Winnipeg Airports Authority serves the community by leading transportation innovation and growth. As a non-share capital corporation, all net revenue is reinvested back into delivering on the mission of providing excellent airport services and facilities in a fiscally prudent manner. WAA does this through a group of companies working together toward a shared vision. www.waa.ca
1 2022 Global Passenger Survey, International Air Transport Association, www.iata.org