Heathrow is evaluating the results of a three month trial to track the movements of baggage trolleys at the airport.
The trial – from October 2017 until January 2018 – involved the use of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) to track baggage trolleys as they arrive and leave the baggage reclaim area at the airport’s terminal 4.
The aim was to see how RFID could track how many were in use, where they were, and to get the trolleys in the right place at the right time.
(Most passengers would think that after seventy – 70 – years Heathrow would know that basic detail.)
For the trial, about 2,000 trolleys at terminal 4 were fitted with a passive RFID label.
RFID readers were installed at all entrances and exits to the baggage reclaim area to detect if trolleys were entering the area or leaving it.
Information gained included where the tag should be placed on the trolley to minimise wear and tear on the tag whilst maximising readability.
The results should enable Heathrow to provide the right number of trolleys at the right locations at the right time.
The RFID tags will also allow Heathrow to build a maintenance history for each trolley. So hopefully no more wobbly wheels and trolleys going where they want to go rather than where the passenger wants to go.
Another aim of the trial was to help Heathrow determine whether there are too many trolleys and if the number can be reduced.
UK company Vero Solutions provided the tech for the trial.
N.B. Image credit: Vero Solutions