In an effort to help with social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, an autonomous mobility system is dashing around a Tokyo airport. This system works like a wheelchair without anyone pushing it.
The company behind the technology is called WHILL. It has a mission to “deliver fun and innovation to pedestrian travel,” as per its website. The machine seats one person and “runs on its own without crashing,” the company explained. This machine won’t crash, “even when people jump out unexpectedly.”
It runs for about 600 meters on a pre-programmed route at Haneda International Airport.
“We are rapidly developing our business in order to help restore a world where people can enjoy moving around with peace of mind,” said WHILL Chief Executive Satoshi Sugie.
He said that this kind of technology is good for these times during the coronavirus pandemic. It reduces the need for human labor, so fewer people are at risk.
“In the with corona era, we believe services that support mobility while maintaining social distancing will accelerate to replace human labor with robots and autonomous driving technologies,” Sugie said in a release.
“WHILL wants to provide a safe service that connects the last mile. We look forward to rapidly developing our business in order to help restore a world where people can move around with peace of mind and enjoyment,” he added.