Etihad Airways – in partnership with Elenium, a provider of automation technology solutions –will highlight how a newly developed voice activated self-service kiosk, bag drop and boarding gate facility will enhance the travel experience at this year’s Passenger Terminal EXPO (PTE) in London, which takes place from March 26 – 28.
Utilising cloud technology, artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision and natural human interfacing, Etihad Airways and Elenium will present attendees with the airport experience of the future.
Vice president HUB and midfield operations, Etihad Airways, Jorg Oppermann commented: “With biometric installations increasing across airports globally, Etihad is recognising the growing demand to streamline not just the passenger verification process, but to also decrease passenger queues and to increase operational efficiency. As a leading global airline, Etihad’s unique collaboration with Elenium will allow us to use their advanced technologies and expertise to cultivate new ideas for the aviation industry and foster the vision of future travel.”
Elenium, Amazon Web Services (the cloud computing subsidiary of Amazon Inc) and Etihad Airways will demonstrate a test concept at PTE for a seamless travel experience that takes into account the entire customer journey, from booking to arrival.
The seamless travel experience will entail passengers checking into their flight and registering their biometric data on their mobile device prior to arriving at the airport, thus reducing queues at the airport. Through the use of AI, new baggage-drop terminals will then scan and memorise each suitcase placed on the belt and assign it to the guest reservation, removing the need for tagged luggage.
Using biometrics, passengers are identified and offered a personalised duty-free shopping experience through a voice interactive display, tailored to the individual’s interests and needs, and also utilising floor space efficiently.
Customer Service Kiosks are available throughout the terminal to assist with airport information, provide ancillary opportunities, and because the kiosks are portable, disruption management. Finally, passengers will board their flight by walking through boarding channels that automatically validate them without the need for a printed boarding pass – making it a faster, safer system.
Vice president technology and innovation, Etihad Airways, Mike Papamichael declared: “The technological vision and strategy is to make the guest journey a frictionless and digitally enabled experience across all channels and touch points at the airport. Etihad’s relationship with Elenium builds on this vision and along with our micro services strategy, allows us to co-create and develop innovative self-service and biometric solutions for greater flexibility and a seamless guest experience.”
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier will also white label the Elenium Voyager App, which offers booking management, passenger check-in, passport validation, timatic auto check, facial biometric enrolment, payment wallet, itinerary management (hotel, transfer, car etc.) and companion functions.
CEO, Elenium Automation, Aaron Hornlimann said: “Together with Etihad, we have imagined how artificial intelligence and cloud computing can be used to reinvent the passenger experience by using voice recognition and biometrics. Our vision is for passengers to simply walk through the airport unencumbered by the legacy of kiosk touch screens and the need to scan a boarding pass.”
Etihad Airways will introduce the new self-service transfer kiosks in phases at the new Midfield Terminal in Abu Dhabi.