Plane Shunter is an autonomous vehicle that can move aircraft on the runway. Today, these are moved on the ground by their engines and thus burden the environment with CO2. In this project, it was studied how the movement of the aircraft on the ground can be made more efficient. An alternative propulsion system for aircraft would save about $ 7 billion or 18 million tonnes of CO2 globally. The focus was on the potential optimization opportunities offered by airports and airlines in order to save fuel in commercial aviation. The goal was to avoid moving through the aircraft's energy-guzzling engines.
The video below shows the new process. The engines are switched off immediately after landing and the vehicle takes over the drive at the nearby coupling point. Tarpaulin Shunter knows about the type of aircraft as well as the assigned gate and brings the aircraft to the right place on the optimal route.
The fact that this is not already practiced is due, on the one hand, to the necessary infrastructural adjustments and, on the other hand, to the costs of implementation. In order to enable so-called full-tattooing, the vehicle fleet is to be increased two to three times, since the vehicles require longer travel times. During the conception, therefore, care was taken to design the vehicle inexpensively. Large diesel engines as before are no longer necessary because the enormous force for lifting the fuselage is bypassed.