Embry-Riddle Testing Airport Security Vehicle
Students and faculty at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University have developed a robotic vehicle that can take care of the monotonous task of airport security patrols. The Ford Escape Hybrid has been equipped with an autonomous control system that allows it to scoot around the airport to detect any kind of security or safety breach. It's being tested at Daytona Beach International Airport. "The technology being developed by Embry-Riddle and tested here at Daytona Beach International Airport represents the leading edge of airport safety and security advancements,” said Airport Director Rick Karl. “We’re pleased to continue to support and partner with Embry-Riddle to encourage such important research and development efforts.”
The vehicle uses the GrayMatter Autonomous Vehicle System that includes GPS and an array of 64 lasers to allow it to assess its position and what is going on around it. As it tracks a programmed route around the airport, it takes high-resolution photos of the route and compares them to photos stored in its database. If it detects something out of the ordinary, from security breaches to wildlife, it alerts human security personnel. The university says the system could be employed at thousands of airports and there are numerous other applications for it.