ANA, Toyota Industries test autonomous cargo tractor at Haneda Airport

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A self-driving tractor pulls cargo containers at Haneda Airport on March 30.

All Nippon Airways Co. and Toyota Industries Corp. have conducted the first test of an autonomous tractor to transport cargo to planes at Haneda Airport. For the time being, a driver will ride in the tractor, but the aim is to make it completely unmanned in the future to address a shortage of labor.

On March 30, the tractor automatically pulled containers filled with cargo from the baggage-sorting area out to the tarmac — a round trip of about three kilometers — at a maximum speed of 15 kph.

ANA is aiming to put autonomous vehicles to practical use by 2025, as there is a serious shortage of staff to transport air cargo.