Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) will begin testing new autonomous vehicle parking technology in May in a bid to improve efficiency and passenger experience.
The autonomous solution will be provided by Steer Tech and will be tested in the hourly garage at BWI and on a nearby commuter lot, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced.
“MDOT is a national leader in using innovation to make our transportation network easier to use,” said MDOT secretary Pete K Rahn. “Delivering a system that parks your car for you is perfect for BWI Marshall – an easy-come, easy-go airport.”
In 2018, Steer evaluated its autonomous vehicle system in a closed course at BWI Marshall Airport. During that initial phase of testing, there were zero accidents and no safety-critical disengagements. These efforts put BWI Marshall on the global technology map, as one of the first major airports to pilot autonomous vehicle technologies in public parking facilities.
In mixed-use testing at BWI Marshall Airport, clearly-marked autonomous Steer cars will operate like regular vehicles around traditional driver-operated vehicles and pedestrians. Steer operators will remain in the vehicles during testing. Signage will be posted at the airport to indicate the specific testing locations.
“At BWI Marshall Airport, our goal is to provide a convenient, efficient travel experience for our customers,” said BWI’s executive director, Ricky Smith. “Steer Tech is bringing automated vehicle technology to the marketplace. We believe that innovations like this autonomous parking solution will help travelers save time and deliver a more enjoyable airport experience.”