Travel just got a whole lot easier for those with reduced mobility at Winnipeg Airport.
The airport announced Tuesday that it will use self-driving wheelchairs at the airport to take travelers directly to their gates, a first in North America.
Winnipeg Airport Authority president and CEO Nick Hayes said in the announcement that by 2038, an estimated one-third of passengers will need some form of assistance while traveling.
“We’re committed to providing a more inclusive and accessible environment,” Hayes said. “Every traveler is unique, and so are their needs and requirements.”
Users select their destination on a touchscreen, and the chair transports passengers to their gate.
These chairs cover the entire route from check-in counters to security checks to boarding gates.
“As a global company, we’re committed to creating a seamless travel experience for the growing world of travelers who need this assistance around the world,” said Whill CEO Kerry Renaud.
These wheelchairs, manufactured by Whill, have been undergoing trials at airports since 2019. They are also being tested in Atlanta, San Jose and Grand Rapids. The company said it will announce more partnerships with airports next year.