Yeti Snow Technology, owned jointly by Semcon and Øveraasen, has developed self-driving snow removal vehicles for the Norwegian airport operator Avinor. The solution aim to increase efficiency and reduce delays at airports. A full-scale pilot was tested 19 March 2018 at Fagernes Airport in Norway.
For the winter season 2018/19 Yeti Snow Technology will be present at Oslo Airport Gardermoen. Two autonomous sweepers will be a part of the ordinary winter maintenance, participating in regular operations.
The project will be one of the first in the world where large vehicles are adapted to autonomously handle the important task of keeping runways clear from snow. The snow removal vehicles are 20 metres long and 5,5 metres long.
Øveraasen is contributing its deep technical knowledge and Semcon in Norway provides its expertise in complex real-time systems and autonomous technology.
“Every minute a plane is parked is precious. We see great potential for gains in accessibility, but also for the environment and safety because the machine is self-driven,” says Hans Peter Havdal, general manager for Semcon Norway.
A unique element is that the solution will operate in the most difficult conditions imaginable for autonomous vehicles: heavy snowfall and poor visibility.
“An airport is like a miniature society with clear and ambitious targets for the business. If we can get self-driving vehicles to operate there we can apply the technology to any field whatsoever,” says Hans Peter Havdal.
The first demonstration of the technology took place in March 2018, at Fagernes Airport Leirin, Norway, where snowploughs 20 metres long and 5.5 metres wide cleared snow off the runway. If the project proves successful, it may be possibile to implement the solution at all of Avinor’s 45 airports.