British Airways will trial AI-powered autonomous robots at Heathrow Terminal 5 to help its customer navigate the airport.
The carrier sees 90,000 customers use the terminal every day and says the robots will free its staff to deal with more complex queries.
The robots from tech company BotsAndUs are programmed to interact in multiple languages using the latest translation technology to answer thousands of questions, including real-time flight information.
Using geo-location technology and sensors to constantly monitor a 360˚radius, the robots will move around the airport, escorting customers to locations such as the airline’s dedicated Special Assistance and Family Check-In zones.
Ricardo Vidal, BA’s Head of Innovation, says the combination of automation and personalised customer service will define the airport of the future:
“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to use automation to help our customers enjoy a faster and smoother journey through the airport and beyond.
“These smart robots are the latest innovation allowing us to free up our people to deal with immediate issues and offer that one-on-one service we know our customers appreciate.
“In the future, I envisage a fleet of robots working side-by-side with our people offering a truly seamless travel experience.”
Andrei Danescu, founder of BotsAndUs, added: “We are very excited to partner with British Airways. The trial will pave the way for other new and interesting services we can provide to improve the customer journey as we work together to re-imagine the airport experience.”