Autonomous snowploughs on test at OSL

Earlier this year, autonomous snowploughs cleared snow from the runway at Fagernes Airport in Norway for the very first time. This project, which goes by the name of Yeti, is now embarking upon the next phase in its implementation and the snowploughs will go into live operation at Oslo Airport this winter.

Autonomous snow clearing will allow airports over the world to streamline their activities and reduce delays for their passengers. And now autonomous snowploughs have to prove what they can do. Two autonomous vehicles will be going into live operation and clearing snow at one of the busiest airports in Scandinavia. The future objective is to maintain a fleet of ten autonomous snowploughs that will keep runways clear of snow.

“After having tested the control system at Fagernes Airport, we are really pleased that we are now able to launch this pilot scheme at Oslo Airport. Our aim is to complete 40 operations to ensure that the system is working as intended and see how we can develop it further. We are then hoping that more world airports will be interested in this technology,” says John Emil Halden, project manager at Semcon.

The Yeti project is the first of its kind to adapt such large machines for autonomous operation in wintry conditions. Semcon is responsible for the technology that makes autonomous snow clearing possible.

This project has been developed by Yeti Snow Technology, co-owned by Semcon and Øveraasen, for Norwegian airport operator Avinor. The trials at Oslo Airport will begin in January 2019.