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Geo, airport experience of the future

PriestmanGoode is part of an innovative consortium aiming to bring back the joy of air travel for passengers with reduced mobility.  

As part of Team Geo with Centaur Robotics, developers of the revolutionary self-balancing Centaur, and Naurt, world leaders in location technology, we’ve created the Geo concept. A mobility solution that allows passengers with reduced mobility to browse, shop and dine, in the same way as other passengers, rather than being transported directly to the departure gate.

The consortium are finalists in the Aviation X Lab challenge, an aviation-specific incubator programme that brings together five global aviation giants: Emirates airline, Thales, Collins Aerospace, GE Aerospace and Airbus. The Moonshot project concluded in Dubai with a presentation attended by His Highness Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chair, chief executive of Emirates and Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates.

At the heart of the project is the Geo, which fits into the space of a dining chair. It has integrated tracking and navigation technology and enables level four autonomy where the vehicle performs all of the functions, but the user retains control.

PriestmanGoode adapted the Centaur, a two-wheeled personal electric vehicle, for airport use. It includes an on-board personal assistant which provides a virtual world at passengers’ fingertips, on both phone or onboard screen. Location, navigation and timely reminders ensure passengers get the most from their time at the airport.

“Our goal is to create better airport and cabin experiences for a wide range of passengers; providing greater passenger mobility, empowerment and accessibility, and opportunities to create moments of delight,” said Chris Parker, director of PriestmanGoode. “Alongside a host of passenger benefits, our collective idea also provides major benefits for the airport operator and airlines through greater efficiencies in processing and the possibility to include those passengers who select not to travel at all today due to the barriers they face.”

“We have used the insights gathered to define the ideal scenario for the future,” added Jo Rowan, associate director for strategy and customer experience at PriestmanGoode.

Team Geo also considered the infrastructure needed to support the service – such as charging docks, collection points, help points and the digital experience, which enables passengers to navigate the airport and ensure they are in the right place at the right time. PriestmanGoode’s visualisation team created a series of renders and animations to bring together the expertise of the consortium showcasing it at various touch points throughout the journey.

“It seems fitting to bring the Geo to Dubai as part of Aviation X Lab, as we see it as an obvious fit with the brand of Dubai, a place that is facing the future with such positivity,” said Rowan. “The consortium is very excited about the opportunity to extend the Geo experience to include shopping centres, cruise ships and other communities.”

Eric Kihlstrom, chairman of Centaur Robotics, said: “Thanks to Aviation X Lab we’ve had amazing access to the top people at Emirates airline and Dubai airport. I’m impressed. The Geo has been really well received and I’m very optimistic about its prospects for the future.” 

The new mobility service could be in Dubai airport within two years.

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