Swedish technology developer Semcon deployed its self-driving snowplows at Fagernes Airport in Leirin, Norway, to demonstrate how they can be used to quickly clear snow with minimal staffing, leading to increased efficiency and fewer delays in difficult conditions.
The project has been developed by Yeti Snow Technology, a partnership between Semcon and snow removal specialist Øveraasen. The snowplows measure 20m (65ft) in length, are 5.5m (18ft) wide, and can clear 357,500m² (3,850,000ft²) of snow in an hour. The autonomous vehicles can also clear snow in formation, with several vehicles working together to complete the task even faster.
Markus Granlund, CEO at Semcon, said, “Autonomous snowplows will allow airports all over the world to streamline their activities and reduce delays for their passengers. This is a good example of how autonomous vehicles can increase profitability and add value for people.”
John Emil Halden, Semcon project manager, said, “We have designed a control system that sets up digital patterns for autonomous snow clearance at airports. The system can then download these patterns and monitor a number of vehicles that navigate using RTK GPS, an accurate form of position measurement, and communicate using 4G modems.”